Modi 3.0: Nirmala Sitharaman retained as Union Finance Minister for Second Time

The Tokyo-headquartered investment banking firm projected that India's GDP growth is likely to average 7% from 2024-25 to 2029-30 which happened under the leadership of FM
Modi 3.0 - Nirmala Sitharaman retained - Union Finance Minister - Second Time - taxscan

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has been reappointed as Minister of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs of India for the third consecutive term under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Mrs. Sitharaman, who first assumed the role in 2019, will continue to spearhead the country’s economic strategies and financial policies.

Nirmala Sitharaman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli, in 1980. She then pursued a Master of Arts degree in Economics and an M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, graduating in 1984. Subsequently, she enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Economics, focusing on Indo-Europe trade, but chose to leave the program before completion.

At just 56 minutes, Mrs. Sitharaman’s latest budget speech was her shortest yet. She also holds the record for the longest budget speech, which lasted two hours and forty minutes in 2020. As India’s first full-time female Finance Minister, her 2019 budget speech spanned two hours and 17 minutes. In subsequent years, her speeches were as follows: one hour and 50 minutes in 2021, 92 minutes in 2022, and 87 minutes in 2023.

In response to the severe economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government unveiled a substantial economic package worth ₹20 lakh crore, approximately 10% of the nation’s GDP.

Under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, India managed to steer its economy from a staggering 24% contraction in the first quarter of FY21 to becoming the fastest-growing economy in the world. Her strategic approach involved a combination of fiscal stimulus, structural reforms, and targeted support to key industries, which collectively revitalized economic activity.

Despite the necessary fiscal expansion during the pandemic, Mrs. Sitharaman remained committed to fiscal consolidation. Her efforts resulted in successfully reducing the fiscal deficit to 5.6% of GDP in FY24, down from the earlier estimate of 5.8%.

The Tokyo-headquartered investment banking firm projected that India’s GDP growth is likely to average 7% from 2024-25 to 2029-30. This forecast is attributed to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

While there are positive aspects to Nirmala Sitharaman’s tenure as India’s Finance Minister, many citizens are ambivalent about her continuing in this role. A significant portion of the population feels that she has overlooked the needs of the middle class, which constitutes a major segment of India’s demographic.

Mr. Piyush Goyal will continue to head the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, while the newly appointed Jitan Ram Manjhi will take charge of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.

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