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India building consensus on next IMF chief: Pranab Mukherjee

India building consensus on next IMF chief: Pranab Mukherjee

France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy for the post of International Monetary Fund MD. Most European nations are backing her.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
After France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy for the post of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India on Wednesday said developing nations are trying to "consolidate" their position to take a view on the issue.

While most European countries are backing Lagarde, the developing countries are trying to build a consensus on nominating a person from the emerging nations as the next IMF chief.

"I am in touch with some of the finance ministers of developing countries and emerging economies... We are trying to consolidate our position where we can take a view," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi.

The post of IMF managing director fell vacant following the exit of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is being tried for charges of sexual assault in the US.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked developing countries to be united in the attempt to reform global financial institutions.

"I had a discussion with the Finance Minister of South Africa over the phone on Wednesday," Mukherjee said.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping on Wednesday came out in the open to oppose the notion that the next IMF chief should be from Europe and argued such a selection criteria undermines the legitimacy of the fund.

If appointed, Lagarde would be the first woman to head the global emergency lender. Conventionally, the chief of IMF has always been an European, while the World Bank has always been headed by an American.

Since US and European nations have over 50 per cent voting shares in the financial institution, it would be very difficult for any candidate outside these countries to reach the top IMF post.