New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will step down as Finance Minister on June 26, a news wire quoting a senior Congress member said. Earlier the date was expected to be June 24.
Mukherjee's successor has not yet been announced, but the names of Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Home Minister P Chidambaram, PMEAC C Rangarajan, Rural development Minister Jairam Ramesh, and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma have surfaced ever since the FM’s candidature as President was announced.
However bureaucrats and politicians suggest Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take over the portfolio until a Cabinet reshuffle next month.
Mukherjee, who has held the post since 2009, is leaving at a time when Asia's third-largest economy is taking a battering by a slowing pace of economic growth, policy gridlock in government, inflation, and sluggish investment.
The wire further reported that Mukherjee, 76, has withdrawn from the daily work of government. On Thursday, he was to chair a panel on the sales price for a 2G radio wave auction, but he deferred the meeting. He is unlikely to meet industrialists on Monday, the wire quoting sources said, referring to another planned event.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has postponed a visit to India which had been scheduled for June 27-28.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Friday, June 22, 2012, 14:24