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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

Last updated on: June 26, 2012 16:43 IST

From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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As a young boy, he used to swim across a river to go to school. Facing adversities was just a part of growing up stronger for 77-year old charismatic leader, Pranab Mukherjee.

From starting off his career a teacher in West Bengal to joining politics and holding several ministerial positions, it has been an enviable journey for Pranab Mukherjee through the echelons of power.

Giving up active politics, Pranab Mukherjee will quit the post of the Finance Minister to contest for the Presidential election.

Here's a look at Pranab Mukherjee's successful innings...

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee with his supporters.


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Mirati's pride

Son of Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi Mukherjee, Pranab Mukherjee, born on 11 December 1935, in a small village, Mirati in Birbhum District in West Bengal.

His father was a freedom fighter, a member of Indian National Congress and a member of West Bengal Legislative Council from 1952 to 1964.

Pranab Mukherjee inherited the political legacy from his father.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee with a football team.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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Successful career

After getting his masters degree in Political Science and History and degree of Law from Calcutta University, he joined as a professor in a college in Birbhum district of West Bengal).

He later worked as a journalist. He worked for the Bengali publication Desher Dak (Call of Motherland).

He has a parliamentary career of over four decades, began as a member of Rajya Sabha (upper house) from the Congress Party in 1969; he was re-elected in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999.

He first became the part of the cabinet in 1973 as Union Deputy Minister, Industrial Development. He handled several portfolios before he became Finance Minister from 1982 to 1984.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee during a foreign trip.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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Hurdles along the way

His term was noted for India not withdrawing the last billion installment of an IMF loan.

Interestingly, Manmohan Singh was the Reserve Bank of India Governor during Pranab's tenure as Finance Minister.

Pranab Mukherjee was sidelined after Lok Sabha election held subsequent to Indira Gandhi's assassination. He was not given a berth in Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet.

During this period he formed his own political party Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress, but later merged it with Congress party in 1989 after a settlement with Rajiv Gandhi.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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Later, former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao chose to appoint him as deputy chairman of the planning commission and subsequently a union cabinet minister.

He served as External Affairs Minister for the first time from 1995 to 1996 in Rao's cabinet. In 1997 he was voted as an Outstanding Parliamentarian.

He has been a member of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, of the World Bank, of the Asian Development Bank, and of the African Development Bank.

In 1984, he chaired the Group of 24 attached to the IMF and World Bank.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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As finance Minister

Pranab Mukherjee's first stint as the Finance minister of India was during the Indira Gandhi government in 1982.

He presented the first annual budget in 1982-83. He became the Finance Minister again in Manmohan Singh's cabinet.

In the Budget announced on July 6, 2009, he announced many tax reforms, such as the scrapping of the 'irritant' Fringe Benefits Tax and the Commodities Transaction Tax.

However, many people, expressed concern, about the rising fiscal deficit, the highest since 1991.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee in Afghanistan.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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Best Finance Minister

Mukherjee said the expansion in government spending was only temporary, and he said that the government, was committed to the principle of fiscal prudence.

He presented the Union Budget in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In 1984, Pranab Mukherjee was rated as the best Finance Minister of the World according to a survey of Euromoney magazine.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee.
Photographs: Reuters.

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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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In 2010, he was awarded "Finance Minister of the Year for Asia" by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Banker recognised him as 'Finance Minister of the Year' after he took measure for budget deficit reduction during a turbulent year.

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee.


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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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Pranab Mukherjee has been criticised by the opposition for mismanagement of economic affairs.

During July-Sept 2008, the country's GDP stood at 6.9% while during Jan-Mar 2012, it stood at 5.6%.

The fiscal deficit during 2008-09 was 6%, it now stands at 5.6%. The value of the rupee stood at Rs 50.29 in December 2008, it has fallen to all time low of Rs 57.02 now.

The economic parameters present a grim picture as the Finance Minister moves away from North Block.

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Image: Indian rupee notes.
Photographs: Reuters.
Tags: , GDP , North Block

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From FM to President: Pranab's successful innings

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First Citizen

From holding some of the most powerful posts in the government, Pranab Mukherjee will soon become the President of India.

"Soon, I will not be a part of the finance ministry, I will not be a political entity," Mukherjee said in his farewell speech to his colleagues in the finance ministry.

It is indeed a matter of great pride for Mukherjee to be bestowed this honour.



Image: Rastrapati Bhavan.
Photographs: Reuters.

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