India nowhere near recession: Chidambaram

December 16th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) India is “nowhere” near recession though it has been impacted by the global economic meltdown, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here Tuesday. “Many countries are facing recession but India is nowhere near recession,” Chidambaram, who previously held the finance portfolio, said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“At the same time, we are affected by the slowdown of the economy because of tbe global meltdown,” Chidambaram added, while responding to a question from N.K. Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on how India’s inflation rate compared with international trends.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who holds the finance portfolio after Chidambaram was shifted to the home ministry following the sacking of incumbent Shivraj Patil in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, was present in the house at the time. It had previously been announced that Chidambaram would field questions relating to the finance ministry in parliament.

According to Chidambaram, “if growth dips over two quarters, then there is inflation”.

India, he said, “has been facing inflation since April due to the rising international prices of crude, metals and foodgrains. Now, these prices are inching downward”.

The government, Chidambaram maintained, was “trying a balance between growth and controlling inflation” and was “biased in favour of growth. Therefore, the prime minister had announced a (Rs.20,000 crore) stimulus package (earlier this month)”.

Replying to N.K. Singh’s supplementary on the steps the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had taken in view of the continuing depreciation of the rupee, Chidambaram said: “This is something that is controlled by market forces. The RBI intervenes when there is excessive volatility. The rupee is now appreciating.”

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