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Montek may join Cabinet, get Commerce ministry

Last updated on: July 7, 2011 16:47 IST

Montek may join Cabinet, get Commerce ministry

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Yojana Bhawan is working overtime to complete the crucial Approach paper to the 12th Plan amidst a buzz that Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia may get a Cabinet berth in the reshuffle expected soon.

Ahluwalia, a noted economist who has served in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, wants to wrap up the Approach paper so that his successor need not go through the process all over again, a source said.

"Deputy chairman has blocked Friday and Saturday for the internal Planning Commission meeting to give final shape to the document," he said.

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Image: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Photographs: Reuters
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Montek may join Cabinet, get Commerce ministry

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In the normal course, these meetings are held only on Friday.

Speculations are rife that Ahluwalia may get the commerce and industry portfolio, replacing Anand Sharma who is being talked about as the next minister for external affairs.

Sources said Ahluwalia, who has been the deputy chairman of the Plan panel since July 2004, may seek election to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, which is under the Congress-led coalition.

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Image: Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Photographs: Reuters
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Montek may join Cabinet, get Commerce ministry

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A lot of work has already been completed for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

The Commission has completed the regional consultations with northern, eastern, western, southern and northeastern states.

The annual plans for the current fiscal for most of the states have also been approved by the commission.


Image: Current Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
Photographs: Reuters
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