Mumbai: The rupee tumbled 67 paise to all-time low of Rs 54.46 against the US dollar on the forex market during the midsession on Wednesday on increased capital outflows and strong demand from importers.
Traders said the Reserve Bank's efforts to curb the falling rupee have failed to arrest the decline and it has surpassed the previous low of Rs 54.32 set on December 15.
They said strengthening of the dollar against major currencies in overseas markets, following renewed worries over deepening euro-zone sovereign debt crisis, and lower openings in equity markets world-wide put pressure on the rupee.
"Economic turmoil globally as well as domestic concerns over rising inflation and melting equities remain a major factor for the current record fall in rupee," said a Delhi-based forex trader.
Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex dipped below the psychological 16,000 level for the first time since January on heavy selling by foreign funds.

Opposition fears repeat of 1991

As the rupee touched a record low, opposition on Wednesday questioned the government in the Lok Sabha on the steps being taken to tackle the situation as it feared that there could be a repeat of 1991, when India saw severe balance of payments problem and even had to mortgage gold.
"The crisis in our economy is growing. Are we heading towards 1991," senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said during Zero Hour, adding the situation was becoming backbreaking for the common man due to price rise.    

Expressing concern over rising prices and a falling rupee in the international market, Joshi wondered whether the economic meltdown of US followed by that of Europe was now taking India in its grip.
Seeking to know what steps the government was taking to tackle the serious situation, he said the decreasing value of the rupee meant devaluation of the work by the Indian labour. Joshi wanted a discussion on the issue as he doubted government's claims that the fundamentals of the economy were strong.
He recalled that the Economic Advisor to the Finance Minister had recently said that economic reforms were not likely before 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Joshi insisted that petrol and gas bills have gone up and sought to know what was being done by the government to bring the economy on track again.


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