Chidambaram suggests PM Modi meets Raghuram Rajan to discuss rupee, BJP says, 'Some audacity'
BJP's Amit Malviya said Chidambaram's list of five intellectuals including Raghuram Rajan and Montek Singh Ahluwalia took India to 'Fragile 5'.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately call a closed-door meeting with a group of eminent professionals to discuss the situation of the rupee which on Thursday hit a new record low of 83.20 against the dollar. BJP's Amit Malviya trashed the suggestion and said Chidambaram had "some audacity" to come up with the "unsolicited advice". Also Read | 'I look at it not as rupee sliding but dollar strengthening': Nirmala Sitharaman
The group of intellectuals vetted by Chidambaram included Dr C Rangarajan, Dr YV Reddy, Dr Rakesh Mohan, Dr Raghuram Rajan and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. All of them are economists who held crucial posts in the UPA regime -- Rangarajan, YV Reddy, and Raghuram Rajan were RBI governors, Rakesh Mohan was deputy governor and Montek Singh was the deputy chairman of the now-abolished Planning Commission.
"The government seems helpless against the relentless decline of the value of the rupee. The declining rupee has consequence for inflation, current account deficit and interest rates," Chidambaram tweeted adding that the government needs all the wisdom and experience available in the country.
Raghuram Rajan is a known critic of the BJP government. A few months ago, the former RBI chairman said India's financial condition was not as bad as Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Amit Malviya said the names that Chidambaram suggested are the 'Fragile 5' and were behind the 'policy paralysis and low growth' of the UPA II. "You have some audacity to give unsolicited advice. The intellectual support you talk about took India to “Fragile Five”. Some of the people suggested occupied important positions in FinMin and PlanComm between 2012-14, a period characterised with policy paralysis and low growth…," Malviya tweeted.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was recently asked about the performance of the rupee and she said she did not see the situation as the rupee falling but the dollar strengthening. "Dollar is strengthening incessantly. So obviously, all other currencies are performing against the strengthening dollar. I am not talking about technicalities but it is a matter of fact India's rupee probably has withstood this dollar rate going up...I think the Indian rupee has performed much better than many other emerging market currencies," Sitharaman said.