Suresh Prabhu to head panel on rupee

PTI

Business, In Other News

The trade deficit was at a five-year high of $18.02 billion in July. It came down to $17.4 billion in August.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu will chair an inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday to discuss the depreciating rupee and widening trade deficit, an official said.

The meeting will deliberate upon ways to address India’s trade deficit in goods and pressure on the rupee, the official added.

Representatives from the department of economic affairs, coal ministry, steel ministry, oil ministry and department of pharmaceuticals are expected to attend the meeting.

The meeting assumes significance as the rupee has hit an all-time high of 73.74 against the US dollar, which would raise India’s import bill and widen the trade deficit.

The trade deficit was at a five-year high of $18.02 billion in July. It came down to $17.4 billion in August.

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During the April-August period this fiscal, the country’s exports recorded a growth of 16.13 per cent, while imports grew by 17.34 per cent.

The depreciating rupee puts pressure on the country’s oil import bill.

The domestic currency has depreciated nearly 13 per cent since the beginning of this year. Besides having impact on current account deficit, the sliding rupee has made imports costlier and led to oil prices skyrocketing to record highs.    

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