South Asia

Christine Lagarde visits India to promote IMF bid

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is in India on the latest leg of a world tour aimed at drumming up support for her bid to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ms Lagarde has promised to support demands from emerging countries to have more say in the running of the IMF.

Emerging economies have voiced their concerns over the continuing hold of European nations over the IMF.

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned amid US sex assault charges.

Power shift

Leaders of developing economies have expressed concern that all 10 of the fund's managing directors since its inception have been European, saying that the head of a global body should be chosen purely on merit.

The only possible Indian candidate for the job, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a senior policy adviser, has been ruled out of because he is over the IMF retirement age of 65.

Ms Lagarde is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Mr Ahluwalia during her visit.

"She'll be received warmly, but I'm not sure she will receive open Indian support," Brahma Chellaney of the Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Policy Research told the AFP news agency.

Ms Lagarde started her tour in Brazil on Monday, and is expected to visit China.

The balance of global financial power has changed drastically in the past few years.

Economies like China and India have grown at a much faster pace that those in the developed world, making them increasingly important players on the world stage.

However, their influence in global bodies like the IMF has not altered greatly during the same period.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has said that Ms Lagarde has received the backing of the leaders of the Group of Eight Nations (G8) of developed economies.

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