Mumbai: The rupee remained firm by rising 17 paise to 56.98 per dollar in midsession trading Thursday as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signalled his keenness to boost economy after taking charge of the finance portfolio.
The rupee resumed higher at 57.00 a dollar against the last close of 57.15 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market and moved between 57.10 and 56.89, before quoting at 56.98 per dollar at 1330 hrs.
Forex dealers said the rupee firmed up on banks and exporters offloading the American currency after Singh's call to formulate an economic revival plan and boost investor sentiment.
Singh, who took additional charge of the finance portfolio after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee resigned to contest for the presidential post, held meetings with top officials yesterday.
Taking stock of the country's economy in a series of high level meetings here, he identified tax issues, sluggishness in insurance sector and aspects related to mutual funds as problem areas and pressed for quick corrective steps.
"We need to work to get the economy going again and restart the India growth story," Singh told officials, against the backdrop of slowdown in the GDP growth, which slipped to a nine-year low of 6.5 percent in the last fiscal.
Dealers said fresh selling of the dollar was also on account of its weakening against other currencies in the global market.
The dollar edged lower in Asian trade today ahead of a crucial summit of European leaders later today.
Meanwhile, the BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, was trading 13 points up at 16,980.33.