Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allayed fears about the fall of the rupee on Wednesday, saying global factors were to blame and there was no need for a knee-jerk reaction from the government.

The Indian rupee has tumbled 11% this year and closed at an all-time low of 71.97 to a dollar on Wednesday, triggering criticism from the opposition that the fall was because of the government’s mismanagement of the economy.

“There is virtually no domestic reason that is attributable to this. We must bear in mind that in the last few months the dollar has strengthened against every currency. The reasons are global,” Jaitley said in his first post-Cabinet briefing in more than three months. He recently returned to the finance ministry after a kidney transplant.

“There is a flow of dollars into the U.S. because of certain policies taken by their government. We are not in the trade war business but when neighbouring countries devalue their currencies that has a corresponding impact on us. But I am quite confident that these fluctuations will calm down and the strength of the Indian economy will play an important role in the upheaval which is going on qua the dollar.”

Jaitley added that the Indian rupee had strengthened against currencies like the pound sterling and the euro since September 2013. “Then [September 2013], the pound was 101.42 and now it is 92.05. Euro was 84.67 while today it is 83.13. I don’t think there is any need for the world’s fastest-growing economy to take a decision in panic or as a knee-jerk reaction,” Jaitley said.

He also struck a reassuring note on rising petrol and diesel prices fuelled by rising global crude oil prices. However, he was non-committal on cutting excise duty to cushion spiralling fuel prices. “There is no straight-line movement of global crude oil prices. They go up and they go down… These are not situations which merit a knee-jerk or panic reaction,” said Jaitley.

Petrol and diesel prices have been hitting fresh highs in India with fuel prices nudging Rs 80 in Delhi. On September 5, the Indian basket of crude oil prices, the rate at which Indian refineries source crude oil, reached $77.18 per barrel but it is expected to go down as Brent crude oil prices slid to $77.06 per barrel later in the day.

With the rise in petrol and diesel prices also becoming a focal point of criticism by the opposition, Jaitley defended the Bharatiya Janata Party’s criticism of the previous government on the issue in 2013, saying inflation was much higher then.

“We were rightly criticising them then because during the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government there was 11% inflation and during our time, it has come down to 4%. We inherited 11% inflation but we have maintained it 4% during our tenure,” he said. “Certainly, Sushmaji [Swaraj] and I would have been failing in our duty as opposition leaders if we did not criticise the then government.”

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