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Finance Minister Sitharaman faces an economy under pressure

May 31, 2019 15:06 IST

A stern articulator with outspoken views and a dignified personality, Sitharaman now bears the responsibility of steering the economy which has witnessed sluggish growth in recent quarters.

IMAGE: Nirmala Sitharaman exchanges greetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after taking oath as a Cabinet minister during the swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2019. Photograph: Vijay Verma / PTI Photo

Nirmala Sitharaman was on Friday named as the finance minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet, even as the country awaits a new phase of reforms to shore up economic growth.

Sitharaman, who was the defence minister in Modi's outgoing Cabinet, takes over from her predecessor Arun Jaitley who opted out of a role in the central government citing health problems. She will also head the ministry of corporate affairs.

 

She is the second woman in the country to helm the finance ministry, after Indira Gandhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader comes with a corporate background and has also been the minister of state (Independent Charge) in the ministry of commerce and industry besides the ministry of finance before moving to defence during Modi's first tenure.

Sitharaman has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2016. She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2006 when Nitin Gadkari was the party chief. Later, she took up the role of the party's national spokesperson.

During Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure in 2003, she became a member of the National Women for Commission where she continued till 2005.

A stern articulator with outspoken views and a dignified personality, Sitharaman now bears the responsibility of steering the economy which has witnessed sluggish growth in recent quarters.

She is expected to take concrete steps to stimulate the economy which has seen agrarian distress, slowdown in jobs growth and falling sales in many sectors.

Sitharaman comes from a middle-class family from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. She was born on August 18, 1959, and completed her graduation from Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College. Later, she obtained her masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Her favourite subject is said to be globalisation and its impact on developing countries.

Sitharaman married Parakala Prabhakar in 1986, after which the couple moved to London. After a successful stint in the corporate world, she came back to India in 1991. The couple have a daughter.

Source: ANI
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