Appointment of a new Finance Minister appears to have been kept on hold for the time being.
This became clear with government informing Parliament that Home Minister P Chidambaram will assist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Parliamentary work relating to Finance Ministry.
Government sources on Wednesday said that the Prime Minister has informed Presiding Officers of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha about the arrangement.
The session of Parliament which began on Wednesday morning is a ten-day affair.
Chidambaram, who was holding Finance portfolio for the last four-and-a-half years, was shifted to Home Ministry last week after the exit of Shivraj Patil in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes.
There was intense speculation earlier about a possible expansion of the Union Cabinet to fill the slot vacated by Chidambaram.
The names of eminent economist C Rangarajan, former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, Union Minister Kapil Sibal and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had been doing the rounds for the Finance portfolio.
Interestingly, Rangarajan and Krishna on Wednesday met the Prime Minister separately in his Parliament House office.
When asked about what transpired during the meeting, Krishna simply said it was a courtesy call while Rangarajan said he has been meeting the Prime Minister regularly.