Why Nirmala Sitharaman will be the ideal choice as Finance Minister in Modi 3.0?

If Nirmala Sitharaman become FM again, she will break Morarji Desai's record

Nirmala Sitharaman Nirmala Sitharaman at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi | PTI

Nirmala Sitharaman, who became the first full-time woman Finance Minister of the country in 2019, took oath as Union minister for the third time on Sunday evening.

After starting a fiery spokesperson of the BJP during the UPA era, she joined the Union Cabinet in 2014 when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. She started with industry and commerce minister and later served as the first female Defence Minister of the country.

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When her mentor, Arun Jaitley, became unwell, she was given the finance portfolio. She went on to become the first full-time Finance Minister of the country. Sitharaman holds the record of presenting the six Union Budgets in a row and if she becomes finance minister once again, she will break her current record, which she shares with Morarji Desai.

What are Nirmala Sitharaman's accomplishments?

Sitharaman began where Jaitley left off and carried out second-generation reforms in the Modi government. Amid criticism, she has defended the BJP government's economic policies in the first term including demonetisation and GST introduction. In order to bring the economy back on track, she trimmed the base corporate tax to 22 per cent from 30 per cent.

Even amid fiscal expansion, she has focused on fiscal consolidation and managed to bring down the fiscal deficit to 5.6 per cent of GDP from the earlier 5.8 per cent in FY24.

Sitharaman also replaced colonial-era Budget briefcase with a bahi-khata for the Union Budget.

Why Nirmala Sitharaman is the best choice for Finance Minister?

With the India Inc as well as institutional and retail investors hoping for policy continuation, Sitharaman would be the ideal choice to lead the Union Finance Ministry. Besides her experience, she also has the expertise in the field, supported by her Master's and MPhil in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Before joining politics, Sitharaman has served as a deputy director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad.

One of the challenges for the new Finance Minister would be to take BJP's key allies into confidence and chalking out plans for Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, where NDA partners TDP and JDU would be expecting considerable allocation for their special category states.

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