The statue of R.K. Shanmukham Chetty, independent India’s first Finance Minister, was unveiled at the R.K. Sreerangammal Kalvi Nilayam Higher Secondary School here on Sunday.
Recalling his deeds, speakers at the function, organised by Dr. R.K. Shankukham Memorial Association, Coimbatore, said that he was born in Coimbatore and went on to become a member of Madras State Legislative Assembly and later the Speaker of Central Legislative Assembly.
At the instance of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Shanmukham Chetty was made the first Finance Minister of India in 1947.
Later, he went to head the Madras Industrial Investment Corporation (now known as Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation) and was instrumental in founding several trade bodies including South India Mills Association (SIMA), South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) and Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
He also helped establish the Perur Tamil College, London Tamil Sangam and Tamil Isai Sangam and was later made Vice-Chancellor of Annamalai University. He was also India’s representative at the Conference of Empire Parliamentarians at Sydney, Australia, in 1926 and various international fora.Memorial lecture
M. Manickam, vice-chairman, Sakthi Sugars, unveiled the statue. T. Rajkumar, SIMA chairman, said that Avinashi Road should be re-named after R.K. Shanmukham Chetty. R.R. Balasundharam, ICCI president, said that the chamber would institute a R.K. Shanmukham Chetty memorial lecture during the Union Budget discussion.
Santhalinga Ramasamy Adigalar of Perur Tamil College, D. Krishnamurthy, SITRA chairman, V.R. Shivakumar, school secretary, K.V. Ramachandran, president of Dr. R.K.Shankukham Memorial Association, and P.V.K. Jawahar from the association, spoke.