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House panel to take up rupee weakness


NEW DELHI : The newly constituted 31-member parliamentary standing committee on commerce under the leadership of Congress lawmaker Abhishek Manu Singhvi has decided to take up a slew of politically sensitive issues, including the depreciation of the rupee, in the context of India’s trade imbalance and its impact on the current account deficit, people aware of the development said.

The domestic currency fell to its lowest at 83 to the dollar earlier this month while foreign exchange reserves have shrunk to less that $520 bn compared with a record $642.4 bn last year amid a widening trade deficit largely owing to rising crude oil prices following the Russia-Ukraine war. The reconstituted committee on commerce met for the first time on Monday in an event of some significance as it is the only major parliamentary committee to have an opposition leader as chairperson. BJP and its allies head all other crucial committees.

“It was the first introductory meeting for the reconstituted committee and the chairman has outlined three topics: ways and means of strengthening the rupee in the context of trade imbalance including CAD, Web3 and FDI and ways to strengthen it. A few members felt that the depreciation issues should not be taken up but the majority appeared to want it,” one of the people cited above said. “Some people who had come with their minds made up suggested that we should not touch the depreciation issues but the committee intends to take up the rupee depreciation issues in the context of the larger issue of trade imbalance and CAD,” this person added.

Queries sent to the ministry of commerce remained unanswered at press time.

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