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Mukherjee to give growth plan before signing out as FM

June 25, 2012 - New Delhi

UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee is expected to announce measures to boost the economy and shore up the falling rupee on Monday, a day before he resigns as the country's finance minister.

There could be a rise in the interest rates for NRI deposits and efforts will be made to cut down wasteful expenditure, media has reported.

There is also the possibility of short-term bonds being issued to non-resident Indians to increase in capital inflows. A further relaxation in external commercial borrowings and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) possibly going in for a rate cut could also be on the cards.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is meeting at the residence of Sonia Gandhi on Monday, a day before he steps down as finance minister before filing nomination papers for the July 19 presidential election.

The CWC meeting is being held to bid farewell to Mukherjee and also to discuss the next steps of the presidential poll.

Mukherjee became a member of the CWC in 1978 and has been a key player in the top decision making body of the party.

Known for his razor sharp intellect, Pranab, a quintessential Congressman, is variously described as a walking encyclopedia, chronicler of Congress history, expert in matters of Constitution and governance and a stickler for rules in Parliament.

Pranab, who was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1969, was for a long time member of the Upper House before his first direct election to Lok Sabha in 2004 from Jangipur in West Bengal. He repeated his victory in 2009.

In the Congress Party, Pranab became AICC treasurer in 1978. Pranab also had a brief stint as Chairman of the Economic Advisory Cell of AICC between 1987 and 1989.

In 1984-1991, 1996 and 1998, Pranab was Chairman of the AICC Campaign Committee for Parliament polls besides being a member in the CWC and Congress Election Committee.

In the Government, Pranab held key portfolios like Defence, External Affairs and Finance.

However, there is still no indication on who will take over as the Finance Minister. For now though, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured better growth and efforts to stabilise the rupee.


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