Tuesday 20 February 2018

India PM set to name next finance chief

India's new prime minister Narendra Modi
India's new prime minister Narendra Modi

Unni Krishnan and Bibhudatta Pradhan

INDIA'S new prime minister is set to appoint Arun Jaitley to be the country's next finance minister even though he failed to win a seat in the lower house, according to two senior party leaders.

Stocks and the rupee jumped last week after Narendra Modi's BJP won the biggest mandate in 30 years on a campaign to revive Asia's third-biggest economy with foreign investment in labour-intensive manufacturing.

Lawyer and former trade minister Arun Jaitley is a senior figure in incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.

Jaitley's chances of getting the finance portfolio haven't been diminished because of his election loss, and Mr Modi is keen to nominate him, according to the leaders, who asked not to be identified.

Other candidates under consideration include former Cabinet member Arun Shourie and ex-central bank governor Bimal Jalan, they said.

India's next finance minister will face economic growth lingering near a decade low as the central bank keeps interest rates elevated to battle Asia's second-fastest inflation.

Irish Independent

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