Who should investors listen to amid the din of official commentary on economic and monetary policy in India?
Below are profiles of key players.
Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister
The no-nonsense Mukherjee, diminutive and favouring Nehru-style jackets, sits at the top of India's economic policy-making apparatus as head of the powerful finance ministry. The 74-year old from West Bengal, who will present the federal budget on Feb 26 in what is one of the most hotly-anticipated annual events in India, took office last May but also held the same post in the 1980s, when protectionist policies crippled the economy.
Firmly in the left-of-centre camp of the Congress party that espouses "inclusive growth," Mukherjee backs spending on social programmes such as a rural jobs guarantee scheme and is considered neither a deficit hawk nor an aggressive reformer.
A contemporary and close confidante of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mukherjee is the consummate Congress party insider and is close to both party boss Sonia Gandhi and Singh. He is a firefighter within the party on contentious issues.
During Mukherjee's first stint as finance minister in the 1980s, Singh served as Reserve Bank of India governor.
Mukherjee is not shy about speaking to journalists and giving forecasts although he sometimes gets testy when crowded by reporters and cameramen.
Image courtesy: AFP / Getty