Central & South Asia
India names key ministry officials
Pranab Mukherjee to head key finance ministry in new Indian government.
Last Modified: 23 May 2009 11:06 GMT
Mukherjee, right, who was sworn in on Friday, was named the new finance minister [AFP]

India has named a senior Congress party leader to head the country's key finance ministry as part of the new cabinet of Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister.

Pranab Mukherjee, previously the foreign minister, will become India's finance chief, a statement from the office of Pratibha Patil, the Indian president, said on Saturday.

S M Krishna, another Congress party official, was appointed foreign minister, and Palaniappan Chidambaram was named as home minister in the newly elected Congress-led coalition government.

A K Antony will remain in his post as defence minister, while Congress allies Sharad Pawar and Mamata Banerjee will head the ministries of agriculture and railways respectively.

The appointments came a day after Singh and his core cabinet members took the oath of office in New Delhi, the capital, for a second five-year term.

Singh was the Congress party's unanimous choice for the job after it won the recent general election.

He has pledged to make restoring the economy his first task.

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