Pranab Mukherjee

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NamePranab Mukherjee
Born On12/11/35
Tenure(s) as FM1982-85 and 2009-Present
Current StatusCurrent FM of India

Pranab Mukherjee is the present Finance Minister of India. Born on December 11, 1935 he is also the leader of the 15th or present Lok Sabha. In addition he is a senior member of several important committees such as:

  • Economic Affairs
  • Prices
  • Infrastructure
  • Security
  • Parliamentary Affairs
  • Unique Identification Authority of India
  • Political Affairs
  • World Trade Organization
Aside from these, he is a member of the Congress Working Committee, which is the top most decision making body in the Indian National Congress.

Political Career of Pranab Mukherjee

The political career of Pranab Mukherjee dates back to more than 40 years. He started as a Rajya Sabha member from Congress in 1969. He was elected again in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999. In 1973 Mukherjee was inducted into the Union cabinet as Deputy Minister of Industrial Development.

He climbed up the ranks and in 1982 became the Union Finance Minister, a post he held till 1984. A famous incident in his term was when India did not withdraw the final installment of a loan from the IMF.

Mukherjee's political career got a fresh lease of life when he was appointed the Planning Commission's deputy chairman by the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, who subsequently made him a Union Cabinet Minister.

From 1995 to 1996 he operated as the External Affairs Minister in Rao's cabinet. He was voted as the Outstanding Parliamentarian in 1997.

In 2004 when the UPA coalition formed the new government, he was made the Leader of the House at the 14th Lok Sabha. That year he also won for the first time from the Lok Sabha constituency of Jangipur.

Mukherjee is one of the few Indian politicians to have operated as a Minister in several high profile portfolios:

  • Defence
  • Transport
  • Finance
  • Communication
  • External Affairs
  • Economic Affairs
  • Revenue
  • Commerce and Industry
  • Shipping
He is also the head of the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Legislative Party that comprises every Congress MLA and MP in India. Mukherjee also played an important role in ensuring that governmental operations went properly when Manmohan Singh had a by-pass surgery. At that time he assumed the following additional responsibilities:

  • Chairman of Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs
  • Union Finance Minister

Major reforms brought in by Pranab Mukherjee

Majority of the reforms initiated by Mukherjee have come during his reign as the Finance Minister. Some of them may be enumerated as below:

  • Scrapping the Commodities Transaction Tax and Fringe Benefit Tax
  • Expanding infrastructure programs such as National Highway Development Program, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and increasing electricity coverage
  • Increasing funding for social sector programs such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, health care, and girl's literacy

As a foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee made sure that India successfully signed the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement and then the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This helped India become a part of the global civil nuclear trade even though they had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Pranab Mukherjee – International Responsibilities

On October 10, 2008 Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and Mukherjee signed the Section 123 Agreement. He has also been a part of the Boards of Governors of the following organizations:
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Asian Development Bank
  • World Bank
  • African Development Bank
In addition he has also served as the Chairman of the Group of 24, which is related to the World Bank and IMF. From May till November 1995 he served as the President of SAARC Council of Ministers Conference. He was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with Anna Hazare when he went on his first fast during August 23, 2011.

Awards and Recognitions achieved by Pranab Mukherjee

The following table lists the various honors and international recognition conferred on the current Finance Minister of India:

YearAwardConferring Organization
1984Best Finance Minister of the WorldEuromoney
2010Finance Minister of the Year for AsiaEmerging Markets
2010Finance Minister of the YearThe Banker
2011Best Administrator in India AwardK Karunakaran Foundation

Last Updated on 2/17/2012