India to name new finance minister: reports
NEW DELHI: India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to switch to finance minister this week, stepping into the key role at a difficult time for the once-booming economy, reports said Tuesday.
Chidambaram, who has already served twice as head of the finance ministry between 1996-1998 and 2004-2008, will be appointed as part of a cabinet reshuffle, The Indian Express newspaper and CNN-IBN news channel said.
The portfolio is currently being handled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who took over from former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee when he resigned last month to run for election to become India’s president.
The prime minister’s office declined to comment to AFP on the reports.
Chidambaram was praised by economists for his pro-business budgets during his previous stints as finance minister, although he faced brickbats from the Left for his pursuit of foreign investment.
He was asked to take over the home ministry after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people and left India reeling.
The cabinet reshuffle could also see young politician Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty which has produced three prime ministers since independence, take his first role in government, unnamed sources told The Express.
News of the possible changes to the cabinet comes ahead of the parliament’s monsoon session, which is set to begin on August 8.