Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on Saturday, said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would take steps to “adjust monetary policy” to address the economic issues — inflation and growth — facing the country, when it would review its monetary policy on Monday.
“The RBI is one of the most respected monetary authorities in the world. I am confident that the RBI will adjust the monetary policy as we are adjusting the fiscal policy,” said Mr. Mukherjee while addressing the Assocham national seminar on ‘Role of banks and insurance companies in the development of financial services and inclusive growth of the country' here.
While admitting that the country was facing slow growth, high fiscal and current account deficits, inflation and negative sentiments, Mr. Mukherjee said that “we are competent enough to face these challenges…. We are a dynamic and growing economy.”
In his first public address in the commercial capital of the country after being nominated as the UPA candidate for the Presidential elections due next month, Mr. Mukherjee said, “Yes, we are passing through a difficult time… That doesn't mean that we can't convert these for our advantage… the Government is doing everything to remove supply constraints.” He also said that the government was aware of the concerns of the international rating agencies and taking steps to address the issues expressed by them.
On eurozone crisis, Mr. Mukherjee said that India was concerned as others, whether Greece would remain a part of the euro, as the developments were also impacting the value of the rupee. He said the global economy was facing further turmoil as Italy was facing recession and the U.K. on the brink of recession.
Mr. Mukherjee said that the country could benefit from the falling crude oil prices. “We can reduce our import bills to some extent,” he added.
Further, he said that he had written to Chief Ministers of States to consider reducing duties on petroleum products to reduce the burden of the common man from high petroleum prices.
“When situation is difficult, burden has to be shared by all stake-holders, it should not be passed on to only one stake-holder”.
Mr. Mukherjee asked bankers to use all their channels to improve financial inclusion aggressively.
Corporate world wishes success
Industry captains and bank chiefs joined the din to congratulate Mr. Mukherjee for being nominated as ruling UPA's candidate for the next President.
LIC Chairman D. K. Mehrotra, Bank of Baroda Chairman M. D. Mallya and Corporation Bank chief Ajai Kumar were among those who wished Mr. Mukherjee success.
Assocham President Rajkumar N. Dhoot said, “Dear Finance Minister, oh sorry the future President of India. We thank you for taking time off and coming over.”
M. Rafeeque Ahmed, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said exporters looked forward to Mr. Mukherjee's elevation to the coveted post of President.