Business Standard

Finance Minister Sitharaman to steer next phase of economic reforms


ANI Politics
Nirmala Sitharaman was on Friday named as the Finance Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet as the country awaits a new phase of reforms to shore up economic growth.
Sitharaman, who was the Defence Minister in Modi's previous cabinet, takes off 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, the first one being Indira Gandhi.
The BJP 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 PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure in 2003, she became a member of National Women for Commission and continued till 2005.
A stern articulator with outspoken views and 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 at 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 is blessed with a daughter.

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 2:15 PM IST

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