Nirmala Sitharaman

Don’t blame Nirmala Sitharaman. India has a historical obsession with rupee value – The Print

This Article First Appeared In The Print On October 19, 2022

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent statement on the rising value of the US dollar, as opposed to the declining Indian rupee, has resulted in a political kerfuffle. By the time the opposition was done mocking the finance minister, Sitharaman’s remarks had already made their way to the meme-verse. While India’s fascination with an overvalued rupee begs any economic logic, it raises an often-overlooked question: What is the source of this fascination with the value of a mere currency?

After all, the country is just coming out of a pandemic, following almost a decade of sluggish growth. One would expect that the opposition would use their platform to target the government about more long-term employment prospects or wage growth, as opposed to a mundane exchange rate? Obviously, this political fascination with the rupee’s value is not new. Congress has spent a lot of time highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweets and speeches from 2013, where he persistently targeted the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for a dwindling rupee…

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