NEW DELHI (TIP): Under sustained opposition attack in Parliament over rupee’s free fall, Prime Minster Manmohan Singh on August 29 conceded that the country was facing a “difficult” economic situation and had to reckon with the uncertainties triggered by global factors, including US monetary stance. “It cannot be denied that the country is faced with a difficult economic situation. There are several causes. I do not deny that there are some domestic factors but there are also international factors arising out of the changes in US monetary stance,” Singh said in Rajya Sabha. Responding to members’ demand seeking his statement on the issue, the PM said, “There are also problems created by the new tensions that are on the horizon in Syria and they have inevitable consequences for oil prices. So, we have to reckon with all those uncertainties.
I need some time to reflect on what I have to say. ” Lok Sabha saw repeated adjournments amid opposition demands for an immediate statement from the PM, while the issue created uproar in the Rajya Sabha for some time. As soon as Rajya Sabha met for the day, Leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley raised the issue of rupee’s depreciation, which has fallen 20% against the US dollar this year and already breached the 68 mark, and said there was “panic” as people did not know at what level the slide would stop. “It is a panic situation… we want to know from the Prime Minister what he has in his mind for reviving the situation. In a democracy, the buck stops at the Prime Minister and does not disappear there,” he said, adding, “Prime Minister must take the House and the country into confidence”. CPM member Sitaram Yechury said the country had “come back to square one” after 22 years of reforms under Manmohan Singh as the economy is facing the same crisis as it did in 1991.