In another round of embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the rupee hit a new low on Friday morning to 71 against the US dollar for the first time ever by falling 26 paise, reported news agency PTI.
A report by Livemint said that the current of value of the Indian rupee was down by 0.31% from its previous close of 70.74. The currency opened at 71.00 a dollar, touching a high 70.89 and a low 71.00.
The bad news for the Indian currency comes on a day when the Centre is likely to release gross domestic product (GDP) data for the June quarter today.
The news of rupee hitting a new low became a dominant theme of discussion on social media with hashtag ##RupeeAt71 trending on Twitter prominently. Users poked fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminding him how he would insult the then UPA government for the devaluation of rupee even during the global economic recession.
One user wrote, “Modi Govt will label every Currency / FOREX Trader anti-nationalist & put them in Jail if he has Shorted INR Vs USD as the #RupeeAt71. Long Live Modi Democracy.” “India entered 72nd year of Independence Rupee chasing it has reached 71 and racing towards 72 Who will get there first?”
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “The Rupee sliding dangerously. Fuel prices at an all-time high, Employment sliding, Manufacturing down and Demonetisation has turned black and counterfeit into white. Who is answerable for Modi govt’s financial disasters? Indians are paying with their lives.”
The Indian currency has, so far, weakened 9.96% against the US dollar, the worst performer among Asian currencies. Month to date, it has fallen 3.37%, its biggest monthly fall in three years.
Experts had warned earlier this month that the value of the Indian currency will further deteriorate. Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities, had told IANS that rupee could be as low as to 71 against one US dollar in the immediate future.