Rao's finance minister survives pounds 1bn scandal

NEW DELHI (AP) - The Prime Minister, P V Narasimha Rao, tore up his finance minister's resignation letter yesterday, ending a cabinet crisis over a pounds 1.2bn securities scandal. An official in Mr Rao's office said the premier wrote to Manmohan Singh, architect of India's economic reforms, rejecting the resignation he submitted last week.

The governing Congress Party received another boost on Thursday when a faction of a small left-leaning party merged with it, giving Mr Rao a two-seat majority in the 528-member lower house of parliament. Mr Singh offered to step down after an all-party parliamentary investigation criticised the finance ministry for failing to anticipate and check the securities scandal.