ASSOCHAM urges RBI, FinMin to work towards Rupee stability

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Ministry should work in unison to ensure that the Rupee does not face any more significant fall from the current levels, the ASSOCHAM said.

This comes after the Indian Rupee plunged to an all-time low of Rs.68.89 per US dollar earlier this week, owing to an increase in the international crude oil prices and trade war concern between the United States and China.

As per the industry body, further depreciation of the Rupee could cause ‘imported inflation’, resulting from currency depreciation and rising crude oil prices.

“We are sure, the RBI and the Finance Ministry, helped by robust foreign exchange reserves would step in at each volatility point to safeguard the macro-economic stability,” the ASSOCHAM said.

While the RBI has been rightly leaving the foreign exchange rates to the market, it must step in at unusual times of uncertainty and volatility, caused by a combination of geo-political factors such as less than adequate raise in crude production by the OPEC member countries and an overall pressure on the Emerging Markets in the financial markets, it added.

The ASSOCHAM opined that the Commerce Ministry should also step in to ensure that the exporters are facilitated to the maximum to push exports and the inward remittances as the import demand for dollar rises up. The non-essential imports can be curtailed and the trade deficit should be kept in check and not be allowed to balloon, it added.

The chamber also urged the Ministry of External Affairs to engage more with the Non-Resident Indians while the RBI in consultation with the commercial banks should devise more of the schemes for the NRIs for inward remittances.

“All channels of remittances should be explored and used to the maximum so that the foreign exchange kitty remains stable.”

To give a comfort level to the Foreign Portfolio Investors, the ASSOCHAM suggested that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), RBI and the Finance Ministry should further simplify the rules for investing in the secondary debt and equity markets.

“A combined approach from all fronts is needed to remain on top of the unfolding situation. Macroeconomic indicators should not be allowed to slip away. We have been used a good set of macro numbers and the same must be maintained,” it said.