Hitting out at the Congress for bringing up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s old remarks of “rupee is in ICU”, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday said that not only the rupee but also the whole economy was in the ICU during the UPA rule.
Replying to a supplementary question asked by Congress member Anumula Revanth Reddy in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said: “He is asking a question by referring to the Prime Minister’s statement, which he made when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat… Had he [Reddy] reminded the other indicators of the economy along this quotation, the whole economy was in ICU… The world had placed India among the fragile 5. At that time, our foreign exchange reserves were very low…”
“Today, despite the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, our economy is the fastest-growing economy,” she added.
Sitharaman further said, “It is a matter of sadness in this House, that our members too, like our enemies in foreign countries, feel jealous if our economy performs well and it is the fastest-growing economy… That is a matter of sadness because if the country is moving forward then all should feel proud of that and not make fun of that.”
She said that the value of the dollar is appreciating against currencies across the globe and only the Indian economy has shown robustness against it. It should be a matter of great satisfaction and not of fun, Sitharaman said.
“I have explained very clearly that the currency, particularly the Indian rupee versus the dollar because I have said this and I know it… become good fodder for all those who want to play around in social media creating memes… Like the way, people make fun of me because I do not eat onions. I do take care of onion-eating people. But that’s all they can contribute to the debate,” she said.
Reddy, while asking a supplementary question, had referred to an old statement of Prime Minister Modi, which he had made when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
Criticizing the government, Reddy alleged that the government is not concerned about stopping the depreciation of the Rupee value. It is concerned about saving its power, said Reddy,
“When the Rupee was at 66 [one $ equal to Rs 66], it was said that it had gone to the ICU. Today, as per the reply given by the finance minister, it is at Rs 83.20. There are two ways from the ICU. One, to come home after becoming healthy and the second, to go to the mortuary. Therefore, if the value of Rupee is at 83.20, it is going directly to the mortuary. Therefore, I want to ask the finance minister whether there is any plan to bring the Rupee back home from the ICU? Narendra Modi ji and I have the same question,” asked Reddy, who represents Malkajgiri (Telangana) parliamentary constituency.