Nirmala Sitharaman Retains Finance Ministry In NDA 3.0 Govt


    Nirmala Sitharaman will continue as the Union Finance Minister of India in Modi government’s 3.0. Sitharaman, a two-time Union minister, has been appointed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet for his third consecutive term, marking a major milestone for woman ministers in India. In Modi’s previous term, Sitharaman managed the finance portfolio, earning recognition for advancing second-generation economic reforms.

    Sitharaman, now 64, first joined Modi’s Cabinet in 2014 as the Minister of Industry and Commerce. In 2017, she was assigned the defence portfolio. After the 2019 general elections, with then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley falling ill, Sitharaman became the first woman to hold the finance portfolio for a full term. Prior to her, Indira Gandhi had briefly managed the finance portfolio while serving as Prime Minister.

    Here’s a full list of the ministers.

    One of Sitharaman’s notable reforms as finance minister was reducing the base corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 22 per cent to support an economy affected by demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

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    The following year, India faced the Covid-19 pandemic with a series of policy measures aimed at supporting the poor. The government announced a special economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore, nearly 10 per cent of India’s GDP.

    Under her guidance, the economy recovered from a nearly 24 per cent contraction in the first quarter of FY21, becoming the fastest-growing economy globally. Despite fiscal expansion, she maintained a path of fiscal consolidation, successfully reducing the fiscal deficit to 5.6 per cent of GDP from the previous estimate of 5.8 per cent in FY24.

    Sitharaman also set a record by presenting her sixth consecutive Budget — five annual Budgets and one interim — matching a feat previously achieved only by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

    The next big thing for Sitharaman will be the Union Budget expected to be tabled in July. With a surplus dividend from the RBI, the ministry will aim to keep a check on the fiscal deficit and create more jobs. 

    This time, the Union Cabinet comprises 72 ministers, nine short of its maximum strength of 81 members.

    Sitharaman’s colleagues, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh will continue in their roles as the Home Minister and Defence Minister, respectively. However, Manohar Lal Khattar, newly inducted in the Cabinet, has been designated as the Minister of Power. He will also oversee the Housing and Urban Affairs ministry.





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