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Updated: November 28, 2010 11:32 IST

Montek among probables for next IMF chief

PTI
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A file picture of Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. Photo: Ramesh Sharma
BL A file picture of Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Top Indian policy planner Montek Singh Ahluwalia figures among the probables to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the next chief of International Monetary Fund, a report has said.

Noting that the clout and role of the international lender has increased substantially in the emerging markets, US daily New York Times reported that someone from the developing world was likely to succeed IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Naming Mr. Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s premier policy planner - Planning Commission - among the probable successors to Kahn, the report said that IMF’s incumbent chief might run for the French presidency in 2012.

“Whatever he (Kahn) decides, his successor is likely to be someone from the developing world.

“Frequently mentioned names include Mohamed A El-Erian, the American-born son of an Egyptian diplomat and an economist who leads the giant bond investor Pimco; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a senior Indian planning official; and Arminio Fraga and Guillermo Ortiz, former heads of the central banks of Brazil and Mexico respectively,” the daily said.

In his illustrious career, Mr. Ahluwalia has also served at the IMF and its sister institution the World Bank, India’s Finance Secretary and Commerce Secretary, among others, the report said.

Prior to taking over as the Planning Commission’s Deputy Chairman in July 2004, he was the Director (Independent Evaluation Office) at the IMF in Washington for three years.

He had also worked as an economist at the World Bank from 1968 to 1971.

A French economist, Kahn has been at the helm of the 187-nation body IMF since 2007 and is also credited with bringing the multilateral lender into the spotlight.

G-20 leaders, at recent summit, agreed to shift over six per cent voting power in IMF to emerging market economies including India and China, to reflect the new world order.

Once the quota reform is implemented, India’s rank in IMF would improve to the 8th position from the current 11th in terms of quota.

The quota increase and realignments are expected to be effective by October 2012.

The IMF Executive Board reforms are to be implemented no later than the subsequent Executive Board election, scheduled in late 2012.

Emerging market economies contribute around 47. 5 per cent to the global economy in terms of purchasing power parity, but have only 39.5 per cent share in the IMF. With the reforms, their share would rise to more than 45.5 per cent.

Indicating its increased role in the emerging world, IMF this year alone, has extended financial aid to many countries including Greece, Mexico and Ukraine. Ireland, which is grappling one of the worst financial turmoils, has agreed to a bailout programme supported by the IMF.

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