How long will Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hold the finance portfolio?
A report in the Business Standard says a new finance minister is likely to take charge before 12-14 October, when the annual meetings of International Monetary Fund and the World Bank group will take place in Tokyo.
However, Singh is likely to reallocate the finance ministry’s work to two ministers of state for the time being, the report said.
The market is already cheering the prime minster’s move to hold the finance ministry, as investors expect more clarity on the reforms front.
At a meeting with the finance ministry officials, soon after he took charge, the prime minister had indicated that said “problems on tax front” had resulted in spoiling sentiment for India. On Thursday, the government published new guidelines for GAAR rules, giving more clarity to the terms that had kicked up controversy earlier.
The comments to the finance ministry officials had indicated the prime minister’s resolve to take action.
As of now, the prime minister is likely to keep the key functions and distribute the rest between SS Palanimanickam, minister of state in charge of revenue, and Namo Narain, minister of state in charge of expenditure, banking and insurance, the BS report said.
Others who would help the prime minister in carrying out his duties are BVR Subrahmanyam and joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, and C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
The report said the prime minister is not keen on holding the portfolio for long primarily because of the meetings a finance minister had to attend. In all likelihood, a new finance minister will attend this year’s annual meetings of IMF and World Bank.