Lagarde seeks India’s support on IMF bid; plans Delhi visit

Lagarde seeks India’s support on IMF bid; plans Delhi visit

Paris: French candidate for the top post at IMF, Christine Lagarde, on Thursday sought the support of India, which did not commit itself.

Lagarde, finance minister of France, met commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma on the sidelines of the OECD meeting here and solicited New Delhi’s support for her candidature for managing director of International Monetary Fund.

Sharma told the French minister that India looks at the selection process as a part of the overall reform of the international financial institutions, an official accompanying Sharma said.

He, however, said that India has high regard for Lagarde as chair of the G-20 and sees her as a friend.

Meanwhile, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delhi that developing countries are trying to consolidate their position to take a view on the candidate for IMF chief post.

“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," he said.

Lagarde is planning to visit India, China and Brazil, key members of the BRICS countries to drum up support for her bid.

She announced her candidacy yesterday. “China, Brazil and India are an absolute necessity...," she told the Wall Street Journal.

“I would certainly prefer to be endorsed by a very large majority rather being the European candidate pushed by the Europeans," Lagarde said.

The post of International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director fell vacant after the ignominious exit of Dominique Strauss-Kahn this month over sexual harassment charges.

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) had said convention that choice of IMF chief is made on the basis of nationality “undermines the legitimacy of the fund".

“We are concerned with public statements made recently by high-level European officials to the effect that the position of managing director should continue to be occupied by a European," IMF executive directors representing BRICS had said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Historically, IMF managing director has always been a European.