Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar today said weakening of rupee is not a cause of worry as it is still overvalued in terms of Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER). The rupee is hovering around a low of 69 per dollar due to multiple headwinds, including concerns over inflation and weak global cues. During the UPA-II regime in 2013, the rupee had weakened from 57 to 68 a dollar in three months, and hence the comparison would be misplaced, Kumar said in a press conference on initiatives taken by Niti Aayog.
He was responding to criticism of the government on the issue of handling of the rupee. “Rupee is overvalued in terms of REER. There is no reason to worry…RBI has maintained that it will not interfere to keep the rupee at any particular level,” Kumar said. On the issue of takeover of IDBI Bank by LIC, Kumar said: “LIC will make very good money by investing in IDBI. I see IDBI Bank’s turnaround soon and improvement in its market capital.”
He further said the economy is likely to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, and in 2019-20, it may grow at 8 per cent. “By 2022, the country will start growing at 8.5 per cent, and thereafter it will sustain it,” he said. The Niti Aayog vice chairman said no other government in the past has taken so many reforms as the Modi-led NDA government has taken in the last four years.
He also noted that there has been ample employment generation in the last 4 years in the country. Replying to a query on disinvestment of Air India, Kumar said: “The government is considering the whole issue afresh.”