International financial institutions have failed us, says Indian PM

July 7th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

On Board Air India One, July 7 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday decried the role of international financial institutions in controlling global oil prices and said they have “not performed their duty well”. There are people who say the oil price muddle is directly the result of supply and demand, while there are others who say that it is largely due to activities of speculators who have put large sums of money into the futures market and similar places, the economist prime minister told mediapersons aboard his special aircraft as he flew to Sapporo to attend the outreach meetings of the G8 summit.

He said the instability and volatility in oil prices was neither in the interest of producers nor consumers and suggested a forum where producers and consumers can sit together to work out modalities to introduce more stability in the market.

Manmohan Singh said one would have liked international financial institutions to pool their wisdom and experience to educate the world on the principal cause of the surging oil prices.

But this time, the prime minister said, these institutions were less active than what they did in the oil crises of 1973 and 1978 when they came up with facilities to help countries adversely affected by it.

India’s effort, he said, would be to “nudge the international community and institutions to do more to deal with the consequence of the oil prices” that have lead to spiralling inflation in India and severely dented the ratings of the Manmohan Singh government that is entering the home run leading to elections due next year.

He said the oil crisis and food prices - which fortunately India was well equipped to control because of its record food grain production - would figure prominently in discussions at various forums with global leaders at the G8 summit.

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