India tells IMF representative to be in touch with countries

New Delhi: India has asked its executive director in IMF to stay in touch with different countries on the issue of selection of the new IMF head even as the front- runner Christine Lagarde planned a visit here soon.

"We have suggested to our executive director (Arvind Virmani) in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to talk to various countries", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

Besides French Finance Minister Lagarde, seen as a strong candidate, there are four to five other aspirants in the race for the post vacated by Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Mukherjee said candidates from Mexico, South Africa, Singapore and Kazakhstan have also expressed their desire to be in the reckoning.

IMF has been traditionally headed by a European, while the top position of the World Bank is occupied by a candidate from the US.

Europe and the US have a combined voting share of over 50 per cent in the IMF and hence their support is crucial for an aspirant for the top post.