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Kamal Nath, Minister for Commerce & Industry, India

When Nath took over on May 2004, India's merchandise exports registered a 24 per cent growth over the previous year.
None | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 30, 2007 12:02 AM IST

Kamal Nath is the Minister for Commerce and Industry with Cabinet rank. He is a member of the Congress Party, which leads the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Kamal Nath was educated at the prestigious Doon School in Dehra Dun, and subsequently obtained his Bachelor's degree in Commerce from St Xavier's College, Kolkota. He is also interested in a variety of sports.

Kamal Nath took over as the Union minister for Commerce & Industry on May 24, 2004. During his tenure, India's merchandise exports rose to around US $80 billion, registering over 24% growth in 2004-05 over the previous year. He also initiated the active role that India has played in the finalisation of the WTO Framework Agreement of July 2004 and hosted the G-20 meeting in New Delhi , consolidating the G-20 alliance.

He joined the Indian National Congress in 1968 as a Youth worker, and was elected to Parliament from Chindwara constituency for the first time in 1980. He has subsequently won Parliamentary elections from the same constituency again in 1985, 1989, 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2004. He was also the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress and a member of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the Congress Party, during September 2002 to July 2004.

Kamal Nath was first inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as Minister of Environment & Forests in June 1991. During his tenure Kamal Nath made a remarkable contribution to the enunciation and development of the National Policy on Ecological Conservation and the Abatement of Pollution.

As minister, he led the Indian delegation to the World Forestry Conference in Paris (1991), the UNEP Governing Council meeting in Nairobi , the PREPCOM IV discussions in New York and the Kuala Lumpur Conference, all in 1992. He hosted the SAARC Environment Ministers Conference in New Delhi and emerged as one of the chief spokesmen for developing countries at the UNCED in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. He has also led national delegations to Finland, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Dubai and UK as also to UNCTAD and UNEP. Following this, he was textile minister. During his tenure the country touched new heights in the production and export of cotton.

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