Ending all specualtions, former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was on Friday appointed as the next Finance Minister in the new Narendra Modi government. She served as the defence minister since 2017 in the previous government and as memeber of Rajya Sabha since 2016. Nirmala Sitharaman also worked in the capacity of the minister of state for finance and corporate affairs under the ministry of finance and the union ministry for commerce and industry with independent charge. The 59-year old politican has also served as the national spokesperson for the BJP.
She now has a major task before her to present the full budget by July. The responsibility comes at a time when the economy is facing fears of slowdown and global ttrade wars and intensifying. There were speculations earlier that Piyush Goyal, who had already stepped into the role twice in the previous Modi government when the outgoing finance minister Arun Jaitley was out sick, would succeed the latter. However, the party leadership picked Nirmala Sitharaman over Piyush Goyal, who has been once again handed the charge of railways along with an additional charge of commerce.
Born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Nirmala Sitharaman completed her chooling from Madras and Tiruchirappalli. She holds a BA in economics at the Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli and a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi in 1984. The first ever Defence Minister of the independent India also served as a Senior Manager (R&D) at Price Waterhouse.
The outgoing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday had announced that he doesn’t wish to carry on as a cabinet minister in the new Narendra Modi government due to health reasons. He wrote a letter to the Prime Minister explaining his position.