Tharman to head IMF panel for another year

Tharman to head IMF panel for another year

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been asked to extend his stint as chairman of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) policy steering committee for another year, in view of his "strong leadership".

Mr Tharman, the first Asian to chair the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), was due to conclude his three- year term on March 22 next year. Save $983 in taxes on your retirement plan by 31 Dec w/ DBS now!

But he has accepted the committee's request to stay on until the following year, the IMF said on Wednesday. It added that the IMFC views Mr Tharman's "strong leadership as valuable in the committee's deliberations".

His continuity in the role will also be "particularly helpful in ensuring that all members' views are taken into account, including with respect to significant ongoing reforms", the IMF added.

Mr Tharman, who was appointed in 2011 for a term of up to three years, has often spoken of the need for fiscal and structural reforms in developed and emerging markets to ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Recent IMFC discussions have focused on striking a balance between short-term austerity and medium-term fiscal sustainability in major economies; ways to manage the effects of unconventional monetary policies and to prepare for the monetary conditions returning to normal; and reforms to reduce unemployment and boost productivity.

Mr Tharman's calls for reform helped him clinch the Finance Minister of the Year award from Euromoney magazine this year.

He is also a member of the Group of 30, an elite society of economic thinkers that includes former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, Princeton professor and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, and the current central bank governors of Britain, Europe, Japan, India and China.

Apart from Mr Tharman and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, the IMFC comprises 24 members made up of finance ministers and central bank governors representing the IMF's 188-member countries. It meets twice a year to discuss the principal policy issues facing the IMF and the international monetary and financial system.

fiochan@sph.com.sg


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