Some friends have suggested that I should use my YouTube account to incorporate a bit more audio-visual in this blog. I agree.
Here is the statement I recently made on BBS TV urging the government to inform the people about the rupee situation. I’m happy to report that, according to BBS, the acting prime minister and finance minister will appear on TV tomorrow, Tuesday, 3 April.
I’ve posted the English transcript of my statement after the video.
Our economy is in a crisis.
Just last year, the government was forced to sell US$ 200 million from the country’s foreign currency reserves to clear a huge rupee deficit. But today, barely five months on, we are faced with another rupee deficit, one that seems to be spiraling out of control.
The Royal Monetary Authority has taken several measures to address the rupee crisis. But their measures are ad-hoc crisis measures, not long-term policies. As such, they have not been able to control the growing deficit. And as such, the general public has become increasingly worried.
The rupee deficit has affected everyone. Businesses, especially small-time traders, are suffering as they do not have timely access to Indian rupees. Similarly, our ordinary citizens are suffering – they no longer have ready access to rupees, and as such, cannot buy basic essentials or travel to India easily for medical treatment, education or pilgrimage.
Our economy is in a crisis. And we, the people, are concerned – we are confused; we are anxious; and we are losing confidence in our own economy. Yet our government has remained completely silent. The prime minister and elected government have still not addressed the people to explain what is happening to our economy.
The government must clear all doubts and reassure the people that they are in control of the situation. Otherwise our people will become even more confused; even more anxious; and may even start to panic.
As the leader of the opposition party, it is my responsibility to demand that the government address the people, and provide us with clear and definite answers.
Therefore, and on behalf of the people:
I call on the government to give a full account on the nature and extent of the rupee crisis.
I call on the government to explain, in clear terms, their plans, strategies and policies to resolve this crisis.
And I call on them to tell us, the people, exactly when we expect our economy to recover from this crisis.