New Delhi: It is UPA Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee's last day in office as Finance Minister on Monday and he is expected to announce measures to boost the economy and shore up the falling rupee. Sources have told CNN-IBN that there could be a rise in the interest rates for NRI deposits and efforts will be made to cut down wasteful expenditure.
Also, short term bonds may be issued to NRIs for increase in capital inflows. Sources say there may also be further relaxation in external commercial borrowings. Apart from this, there is also speculation that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may go for a rate cut.
Pranab will resign from the Congress Working Committee on Monday, a day before he steps down as the Finance Minister before filing nomination papers for the July 19 Presidential election. A special meet will be convened on Monday to give him a farewell and also to discuss the Presidential poll in the light of key UPA ally Mamata Banerjee not making her stand public.
He became a member of the CWC in 1978 and has been a key player in the top decision making body of the party.
Known for his razor sharp intellect, Pranab, a quintessential Congressman, is variously described as a walking encyclopedia, chronicler of Congress history, expert in matters of Constitution and governance and a stickler for rules in Parliament.
Pranab, who was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1969, was for a long time member of the Upper House before his first direct election to Lok Sabha in 2004 from Jangipur in West Bengal. He repeated his victory in 2009.
In the Congress Party, Pranab became AICC treasurer in 1978. Pranab also had a brief stint as Chairman of the Economic Advisory Cell of AICC between 1987 and 1989.
In 1984-1991, 1996 and 1998, Pranab was Chairman of the AICC Campaign Committee for Parliament polls besides being a member in the CWC and Congress Election Committee.
In the Government, Pranab held key portfolios like Defence, External Affairs and Finance.
However, there is still no indication on who will take over as the Finance Minister. For now though, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured better growth and efforts to stabilise the rupee.
"We are on a market based exchange rate. We will intervene only when there is violent fluctuation. I believe that if we follow the measures outlined, the rupee will return to a more stable path very soon," the Prime Minister said.
(With additional information from PTI)