Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sent a series questions to U.S. Consulate in India on Pranab Mukherjee, Anand Sharma and Montek Singh Ahluwalia

225053 9/14/2009 21:26 09STATE95493 Secretary of State SECRET//NOFORN "VZCZCXRO5353RR RUEHBI RUEHCIDE RUEHC #5493 2572144ZNY SSSSS ZZHR 142126Z SEP 09FM SECSTATE WASHDCTO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 6726INFO RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9744RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 3390RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 2761" "S E C R E T STATE 095493

NOFORN SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2034 TAGS: PINR, IN SUBJECT: (S/NF) INDIA: NEW GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC LEADERS (C-SA9-01390)

Classified By: MICHAEL P. OWENS, ACTING DIR, INR/OPS. REASON: 1.4(C).

1. (S/NF) WASHINGTON ANALYSTS ARE CLOSELY MONITORING THE NEWLY APPOINTED ECONOMIC LEADERS IN THE UNITED PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE (UPA) COALITION GOVERNMENT. WE ARE INTERESTED IN THEIR VIEWS REGARDING FUTURE ECONOMIC POLICY, OPPORTUNITIES FOR BILATERAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION, AND THEIR ABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER AS A COHESIVE TEAM. AS TIME AND RESOURCES PERMIT, WE WOULD HIGHLY VALUE ANY INFORMATION ON THE FOLLOWING TOPICS AND QUESTIONS, AND PLAN TO INCORPORATE POST REPORTING INTO FINISHED ANALYSIS FOR POLICYMAKERS. THANK YOU.

A. (U) PRANAB MUKHERJEE, MINISTER OF FINANCE

B. (S/NF) WHAT ARE MUKHERJEE'S PRIMARY ECONOMIC CONCERNS AND HIS VIEWS ON PRIME MINISTER SINGH'S ECONOMIC REFORM AGENDA? HOW QUICKLY DOES HE PLAN TO PURSUE THESE REFORMS? WHAT IS HIS ABILITY TO ENACT REFORMS?

C. (S/NF) WHAT ARE MUKHERJEE'S VIEWS OF THE US BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP AND WHERE DOES HE SEE THE RELATIONSHIP HEADED? WHAT AREAS OF COOPERATION IS HE EAGER TO ADVANCE? HOW DOES HE SEE THE US-CHINA ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP IN COMPARISON TO THE US-INDIA RELATIONSHIP?

D. (S/NF) WHY WAS MUKHERJEE CHOSEN FOR THE FINANCE PORTFOLIO OVER MONTEK SINGH AHLUWALIA? HOW DO MUKHERJEE AND AHLUWALIA GET ALONG?

E. (S/NF) TO WHICH INDUSTRIAL OR BUSINESS GROUPS IS MUKHERJEE BEHOLDEN? WHOM WILL HE SEEK TO HELP THROUGH HIS POLICIES? WHAT ARE MUKHERJEE'S PRIORITIES IN THE UPCOMING BUDGET PRESENTATION?

F. (S/NF) WHAT POLICIES ARE MUKHERJEE AND OTHER LEADERS CONSIDERING TO ADDRESS THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS?

G. (S/NF) WHAT DOES PRIME MINISTER SINGH THINK ABOUT MUKHERJEE,S NEW ROLE AS FINANCE MINISTER?

H. (S/NF) WHAT IS MUKHERJEE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNOR OF THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA, D.V. SUBBARAO? HOW DOES SUBBARAO VIEW THE REMOVAL OF CHIDAMBARAM FROM THE MINISTER OF FINANCE SLOT? WHAT IMPACT HAS HIS REMOVAL HAD ON RELATIONS BETWEEN THE FINANCE MINISTRY AND THE RBI?

I. (U) ANAND SHARMA, MINISTER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

J. (S/NF) WHAT POLICIES DOES SHARMA PLAN TO PURSUE? HOW DOES HE VIEW INDIA'S TRADE POLICIES? WHAT ARE HIS VIEWS ON PRIME MINISTER SINGH'S PLANS FOR GRADUAL ECONOMIC REFORM? WHAT DOES HE PERCEIVE AS INDIA'S PRIMARY TRADE OBSTACLES?

K. (S/NF) WHAT ARE SHARMA'S VIEWS ON THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)? HOW WILL HE APPROACH INITIAL MEETINGS WITH HIS COUNTERPARTS? WHAT DOES HE THINK OF PREVIOUS MINISTER OF COMMERCE KAMAL NATH'S ACTIONS OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS? HOW CLOSE WILL SHARMA REMAIN TO THE NAMA-11? IS HE WILLING TO BEGIN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE US TO ADVANCE WTO NEGOTIATIONS?

L. (S/NF) HOW DOES SHARMA VIEW US-INDIA ECONOMIC RELATIONS?

M. (S/NF) HOW DOES SHARMA VIEW INDIA'S CURRENT FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) GUIDELINES? WHICH SECTORS DOES HE PLAN TO OPEN FURTHER? WHY IS HE RELUCTANT TO OPEN MULTI-BRAND RETAIL? WHAT ARE HIS VIEWS ON THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES?

N. (S/NF) WHY WAS SHARMA CHOSEN FOR THE JOB? WHAT ARE HIS LARGER AMBITIONS? WHY WAS NATH MOVED TO THE ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS PORTFOLIO? WHAT ARE NATH'S VIEWS ON THE CHANGE?

O. (S/NF) DOES SHARMA GET ALONG WITH MUKHERJEE AND PRIME MINISTER SINGH?

P. (U) DEPUTY CHAIR, PLANNING COMMISSION MONTEK SINGH AHLUWALIA

Q. (S/NF) WHAT IS SHARMA'S RELATIONSHIP WITH AHLUWALIA? HOW DOES AHLUWALIA FEEL ABOUT REMAINING IN THIS POSITION? WHICH, IF ANY, PARTICULAR AGENDA ITEMS WILL HE BE PUSHING? DOES HE GET ON WELL WITH THE PRIME MINISTER?

2. (U) PLEASE CITE C-SA9-01390 IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF REPORTING IN RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS.

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