Former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman and ex-Defence Minister K.C. Pant passed away on Thursday morning. He was 81.
Pant, son of Bharat Ratna Govind Ballabh Pant, passed away peacefully. “After having been a public figure for more than 50 years, the family will dedicate a private mourning in his memory,” a release issued by the family said.
A member of Parliament for about 26 years, Pant held various key positions in the Government such as Minister of Defence, Finance, Steel, Home, Energy, among others. He was also Chairman of the Tenth Finance Commission.
Pant was a member of the Indian National Congress till 1998, after which he joined the Bharatiya Janata party.
Born in 1931 in Bhowali, Nainital district, now in Uttarakhand, and is survived by his wife and former MP, Ila Pant, and two sons.
The Prime Minister, condoling the passing away of Pant described him as a leader “who served our country and people with great distinction” and said in his passing away the country had lost an “eminent public figure and an able administrator.”
In a condolence message, Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, said expressed profound grief” at the passing away of Pant, who was Defence Minister from 1987 to 1989.
“He steered the Ministry at one of the most critical junctures of history as the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed in Sri Lanka as a stepping stone to the tortuous journey for peace in the island nation. The Indian troops were also deployed at short notice in Maldives to abort a coup attempt, in a clear manifestation of our commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in South Asian Region,” Antony said.