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    Chidambaram is new FM, Shinde becomes home minister

    P Chidambaram was on Tuesday made the finance minister as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh effected a minor reshuffle in portfolios in the Union cabinet, necessitated by the exit of Pranab Mukherjee last month.

    According to the announcement, power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is the new home minister in place of Chidambaram.

    Corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily was given the additional charge of power ministry, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

    66-year-old Chidambaram returns to the finance ministry after more than three-and-a-half years. He was moved from finance ministry to home ministry in December 2008 in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks with the task of strengthening the country’s security.

    He takes charge of the finance ministry at a time when the economy is witnessing a slowdown and a scare has been created among foreign investors by some decisions on tax issues.

    Chidambaram will have the challenge of restoring the confidence among the foreign investors besides taming inflation and ensuring return to high economic growth.

    The reshuffle of portfolios had been necessitated by the exit of Pranab Mukherjee, who held the portfolio of finance ministry before getting elected as the President.

    Mukherjee resigned as the finance minister on June 26 and since then the Prime Minister himself was looking after the portfolio.

    The reshuffle of portfolios is seen as a precursor to a bigger rejig in the Council of Ministers possibly after the Monsoon Session ends on September 7, with Rahul Gandhi expected to be inducted.

    (Courtesy Hindustan Times)


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