New Delhi: Despite a sharp slowdown in economic growth, high inflation and record fall in the value of rupee, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday emphasised that Indian economy has not gone back to the 1991 era and the government will be able to improve the situation.

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"There is no reason to believe that we are going back to the situation of 1991," Mukherjee said at the Congress Working Committee meeting here.

Mukherjee pointed out that foreign exchange reserves in 1991 were not enough to meet even 17 days imports, while the country's current forex reserves can pay imports bill for seven and a half months. 

He said on other fronts also the situation was not comparable to that of 1991. Mukherjee's comment came in the backdrop of steep fall in the value of the rupee and economic growth slumping to 9-year low due to the manufacturing sector contracting. As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office last week, India's economic growth slumped 9-year low of 5.3 percent in January-March quarter, dragged by the contraction in the manufacturing sector.

For the entire 2011-12 financial year, gross domestic product (GDP) growth slumped to 6.5 percent, which is even lower than 6.7 percent expansion registered during the global economic crisis 2008-09. The value of Indian rupee fell to record low of 56.52 against a dollar on May 31 after the announcement of poor economic numbers.

Mukherjee said he was hopeful that the economic situation would improve in the current financial year. "It is not correct that we won't be able to retrieve the situation. We will be able to retrieve the situation," he said.


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