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Pranab congratulates Christine Lagarde

June 29, 2011 11:38 IST
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday congratulated French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde on her appointment as the new Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

In a message to Lagarde, Mukherjee congratulated her on her new position and said India is looking forward to working with her in her capacity as the new IMF Managing Director.

Lagarde, who had travelled to New Delhi canvassing for her election, is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution's inception in 1944.

"The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director and Madame Chairman of the Executive Board for a five-year term, starting on July 5, 2011," an official IMF announcement said Tuesday.

"I am deeply honored by the trust placed in me by the Executive Board. I would like to thank the fund's global membership warmly for the broad-based support I have received. I would also like to express my respect and esteem for my colleague and friend, Agustn Carstens," she said in her first official statement.

Earlier in the day, at a joint news conference with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Mukherjee pointed out that during the election process, India had insisted that the IMF Managing Director should be selected through a transparent mechanism, not specific to any region or any particular nation. "On the basis of that, we also suggested that we would like to be a part of the consensus, which should be evolved," he said.

A day earlier, speaking at a panel discussion organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Brookings Institute, Mukherjee stressed on the need for reforming international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.

"I must say that the institutions, when they are established in a particular context and when that context no longer remains relevant, those institutions are to be reformed," Mukherjee said.

"The world has undergone a major change since 1945. New realities are too yet reflected in the composition, voice and decision-making process of these institutions. But at the same time, I'm quite confident that these institutions will be reformed," he noted.

"If we remember, another institution was attempted under similar pressures, old GATT, but it did not materialise. Ultimately, after 30 years of the establishment of the Breton Woods institutions in 1994, we could establish the World Trade Organisation," he said. "Therefore, with the change of time, institutions are to adjust with the reality prevailing at that point of time," Mukherjee said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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