Indian media: Rupee's fall likely to affect economy

The rupee has depreciated due to India's large current account deficit
Image caption The rupee has depreciated due to India's large current account deficit

Media in India are expressing concerns over a sharp depreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar.

The rupee struck a "lifetime low" of 58.98 to $1 on Tuesday, worrying experts and editorial writers about the future of the Indian economy.

The Times of India says the rupee is "the most battered" of the Asian currencies and its fall can be attributed to India's "significantly larger current account deficit".

"The government must abandon its business-as-usual attitude and actually create conditions to narrow the deficit, instead of just talking about this," the paper adds.

The Hindustan Times feels the rupee's fall can "end up fanning inflation", while The Asian Age believes the currency's record decline should be a "wake-up call" for the government which must "stop paying lip service" and take concrete actions.

The Tribune, however, says that Indian exporters, including IT firms and drug manufacturers, are likely to benefit from the fall.

Newspapers are also highlighting the role played by the Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS), the nationalist organisation from which the BJP draws its ideological roots, in solving the two-day political crisis in the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), triggered by the resignation of one of its founding members from key posts.

The Asian Age, in its editorial, refers to the "big-brother role" played by the RSS in convincing LK Advani to withdraw his resignation.

The paper sees an irony in the RSS role in solving the crisis as Mr Advani was reportedly unhappy with the ideological group's intervention in the party affairs.

"Mr Advani came to view the RSS involvement in the BJP as over-intrusive. He was particularly resentful that he had ceased to be the last word on party affairs," senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta wrote in The Indian Express.

India's peace rating

Meanwhile, the Global Peace Index released on Tuesday has ranked India among the "25 least peaceful nations to live in", reports say.

"The major indicators that bring down India's ranking are militarisation, domestic and international conflicts, and corruption," The Hindu says.

Moving on to the national capital, Delhi, hundreds of commuters were stranded after a Delhi Metro train broke down and stalled in a tunnel, reports say.

"Panicky commuters even forced open the emergency door to come out on the tracks and started to walk towards the Central Secretariat [station] before they were escorted to safety by the Metro staff," the Zee News website reported.

Delhi can now look forward to getting some respite from the unrelenting heat wave after the meteorological department announced that monsoon rains are likely to arrive on 18 June, 11 days before they usually do, The Hindu reports.

Meanwhile, residents of a Delhi slum, including school dropouts, former child labourers and drug addicts, have been hired by top banks and outsourcing firms thanks to computer training provided by the city's police and an NGO, reports The Times of India.

In environmental news, the government is expected to declare around 60,000 sq km (23,166 sq miles) of the Western Ghats - a mountain range that runs along the western coast of India - as a no-go area for mining, thermal power plants and heavily polluting industries, the paper reports.

And wildlife filmmaker Gautam Pandey, in his article in The Pioneer, highlights the government's efforts to save the Great Indian Bustard, one of the largest and heaviest birds in the world, from extinction.

And finally, Hollywood star Jackie Chan will visit India to attend the China Film Festival in Delhi from 18 to 23 June, The Asian Age reports.

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