New Delhi: Amid the clamour for a stimulus package to revive the sagging economy, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday took to Twitter to defend the measures announced by her ministry in the past few days.
“As Finance Minister—you might’ve observed—I’ve been working on and regularly speaking about measures we’ve been taking on matters on the economy," she told Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who had found it odd that Sitharaman should have been the one to announce the ban on e-cigarettes.
“E-cigarettes banned, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman - Shd this not come from Min of Health? How about banning gutka too? How about MoF announcing some fiscal measures to revive economy?" Mazumdar Shaw had tweeted.
Sitharaman clarified that she was addressing the press conference as head of the group of ministers which took the decision to ban e-cigarettes as health minister Harsh Vardhan was travelling.
Later, Mazumdar Shaw thanked Sitharaman: “I now understand n I stand corrected. Tks for explaining my confusion. Really grateful for your response."
Mazumdar Shaw is not the only one to take to Twitter seeking a fiscal stimulus package. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, tweeted on Wednesday: “Howdy economy doin’, Mr Modi? Ain’t too good it seems," mocking the government ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Howdy Modi" event in Houston on Sunday.
Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac tweeted on 25 August: “Mini budget announcements will not provide much needed stimulus to reverse the slowdown. Crisis is not because of decline in ease of doing business or sops for automakers. Bank recapitalization had already been announced. What is required is a large fiscal spending package."
Sitharaman has so far announced a series of measures for automobiles, real estate and exports sectors, along with the merger of public sector banks. She is expected to announce more measures in two separate press briefings in Goa before and after the meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council.