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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sitharaman takes over as FM; vows to continue with NDA’s dev agenda


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New Delhi: Continuing her role in the previous government, Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday took charge as Union Finance Minister for the second time in the Modi 3.0 government, with a huge challenge in front of her to manage finances and contribute to economic growth, which has been predicted at 7.2 percent for FY25.

However, her immediate focus would be to present the full general budget for the years 2024–25, as the last budget presented in February this year was an interim budget due to the impending Lok Sabha election.

She expressed her sincere gratitude to Prime Minister Modi for giving her the opportunity to work as the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister again and serve India and its people under his guidance.

Making her finance minister again, Prime Minister Modi has given a clear message that the government’s priority would be to continue with the policies of the previous government.

She was at the helm when India suffered the worst challenge of ensuring to keep the economy in good shape after the COVID crisis. She ensured that the economy grows at desirable 7 per cent or higher and also overlooked implementation of GST.

Sitharaman was the first woman to be entrusted with the position of Union Finance Minister in the outgoing Cabinet. Prior to this, she also held an important portfolio as Defense Minister in the Modi Cabinet in 2014.

Sitharaman acknowledged the strong leadership and development-oriented governance in the last 10 years, which have driven transformative changes across various sectors and created a robust and resilient economy.

After assuming charge, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs was briefed on the ongoing policy issues by the secretaries of the different departments of the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

She noted that the government is fully committed to ensuring ‘Ease of Living’ for its citizens and will continue to take further steps in this regard.

Sitharaman also stated that the reforms undertaken since 2014 will continue, which will further provide macroeconomic stability and growth for India. She also highlighted India’s commendable growth story in recent years amidst global challenges and noted that there is an optimistic economic outlook for the coming years.

She urged the departments to advance the NDA government’s development agenda with renewed vigor and ensure responsive policymaking to achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘Viksit Bharat’.

The Union Finance Minister also said that the government believes in ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas’ and called for the continued support and cooperation of all stakeholders, including industry leaders, regulators, and citizens, to ensure a strong and vibrant economy.

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