The continuing turmoil in world currency markets and drawing a road map for ensuring global recovery would be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets world leaders at the G-20 summit in St Petersburg, which begins on September 5.
The meeting comes at a time when the currencies of all participating nations have taken a major hit, barring China. Singh is expected to air his concerns on the rupee falling by about 20 per cent vis-à-vis the US dollar, which the UPA government has attributed to spillover of the poor economic situation prevailing in the West.
However, appealing to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bail out India from its current economic situation is not on Singh’s agenda, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Saturday.
He said that while the world leaders may steer clear of approving the specifics on ways to ease pressure on currency markets, but there is likely to be wide ranging discussions on reviving the sagging investor sentiments in the markets.
In his reply to a question whether India would seek the IMF’s assistance for reviving its economy, Ahluwalia said, “Our current economic situation does not warrant it. I do not anticipate it in the near future,” Ahluwalia said, adding, “India’s reserves are comfortable.”
India’s foreign exchange reserves were up at $278.602 billion as of August 9. The country had last approached the IMF for funds in 1991 during a balance of payments crisis.
The rupee collapsed to a lifetime low of 68.85 against the dollar on August 28 before staging a recovery while economic growth in the April-June quarter slid to 4.4 per cent. The rupee closed at 65.70 on Friday to the dollar.
On trade and commerce, Ahluwalia said the G20 is expected to take a keen interest in the maintenance of a robust multilateral trading system and press for measures to resist protectionism.