India may throw Montek hat in the ring for IMF's top job

India may throw Montek hat in the ring for IMF's top job

After the resignation of disgraced IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, New Delhi dropped a hint that India, along with other emerging economies like China and Brazil, may like to be in the race for the top job in the multilateral financial institution.

"Strauss-Kahn has tendered his resignation... We are watching the situation," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here. Ahluwalia, whose name was strongly backed by Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu yesterday, told reporters, "The Government of India will have to take a view on it...The ministry that has to take a view is the Finance Minstry."

When pressed further, he said, "I would not like to restrain the government's choice in the matter." Ahluwalia, who had earlier worked in senior position with the IMF and the World Bank, said things are evolving. "I have no idea who is pressing for what. So, give them some flexibility," he added.

Basu had said yesterday, "In my view, Montek is the best name...not only from India's point of view, but from the world's point of view also." Others in the reckoning for the top IMF job are Christine Lagarde, Finance Minister of France, and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Traditionally, the top IMF post has been retained by a European and that of the World Bank by an American. China, Brazil and India are raising their pitches for a chance for the emerging nations to lead the multilateral funding agency.

While, the developed world retains majority of the voting rights in the IMF and the World Bank, the clout of the emerging economies has grown since the financial crisis of 2008.

The western media has been highlighting the demand from the emerging world for a shift of power in the multilateral agencies.

"Europeans want to keep one of their own in a post they have occupied since the IMF was created after World War II. But the world’s fast-growing emerging nations say their time has come to run a big institution like the IMF, given their growing global economic might," the New York Times said.

A senior Chinese official said that the selection process for the IMF chief should be transparent and based on merit.