Who will be the next Finance Minister of India?

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee resigned today just ahead of filing his presidential nomination on June 28. 
His resignation comes at a time when the economy is in shambles and the administration is suffering from policy paralysis.
Pranab’s resignation raises two questions - one, as to who will replace him in the finance portfolio and two, who will be the next Leader of the House in Lok Sabha.
Being an economist and revolutionary ex-Finance Minister, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the obvious first choice for the portfolio. Chief Economic Advisor to the Government Kaushik Basu is also of the opinion that the Prime Minister should keep the portfolio with him.
Although long away, it is believed that Singh would appoint more secretaries before he presents the next budget. However, the PM has consistently refused to comment on the issue so far.
Next possible candidate is Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, however, with a number of controversies chasing him, it seems a little unlikely, though not fully ruled out.
Significantly, last week US Treasury Department announced postponement of Secretary Tim Geithner’s official visit to New Delhi for the crucial meeting of the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership forum, originally scheduled for June 27-28, on account of Mukherjee’s expected resignation as Finance Minister. The Treasury Department is expected to reschedule the meeting in the months ahead.
"Mukherjee has been an effective ally in the G-20 and a strong partner in deepening the economic relationship between the United States and India," the Department of Treasury said in a statement.
Mukherjee became Finance Minister in May 2009 after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition assumed power the second time. Earlier during the tenure of UPA-I, the veteran Congress leader held the portfolios of Defence and External Affairs.

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