Not in race for finance minister post, says Ahluwalia

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Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Amritsar, Jul 8: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today asserted that he was not in the race for the post of Finance Minister.

When asked about the media reports that he was in the race for the coveted post, Ahluwalia said, "I am not in the race and media was at liberty and could write anything, but there was no reality in reports."

The Oxford-trained economist was here along with his wife Ishar Ahluwalia to pay obeisance at Golden Temple. He said that the sole motive to visit the holy city was to pay obeisance.

After Pranab Mukherjee's resignation, the Prime Minister took charge of the Finance Ministry portfolio.

Talking to media, Ahluwalia said, presently yield of farmers was being purchased on less prices due to which they felt underpaid and were "suffering huge financial losses."

Ahluwalia, who was seen as the front-runner for Finance Minister post in 2009, batted for private companies in the filed.

"Farmers would benefit if their yield was purchased by private companies which could pay them better price," he said.

Favouring FDI, Ahluwalia said, "foreign companies could pay best prices of farmers' yield as per the international standard, even better than private companies at home."

Arrival of foreign companies in India would also generate employment for rural and urban youths, he said.

Talking about financial aid to Punjab, Ahluwalia said that an elaborate scheme for the next three years has been chalked out to disburse grants to various states and Punjab would also get its share.

The Prime Minister, who is the chairman of Planning Commission of India, has discretionary powers to disburse more grants depending upon the circumstances, said Ahluwalia.

Talking about the rise in milk price, he said the Government was enhancing milk supply to control the rising price, and shortly such steps would bring good results.

He said that shortage in the Milk supply has caused hike in price.

Ahluwalia and his wife Ishar were honoured by the SGPC with a set of Sikh religious books and replica of Golden Temple in the information Centre of Golden Temple.

PTI

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