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Home / HTLS / HTLS 2019| Let it keep coming, says Nirmala Sitharaman, the target of Opposition barbs

HTLS 2019| Let it keep coming, says Nirmala Sitharaman, the target of Opposition barbs

In the course of the interaction at HTLS 2019, Sitharaman had announced that there will be more fiscal stimulus to revive the economy, underlined the need for a simpler tax code with no ifs and buts and promise that the Centre will honour the compact to pay Goods and Services Tax compensation to the states.

htls Updated: Dec 10, 2019 19:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit at Taj Palace in New Delhi.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit at Taj Palace in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
         

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is leading the government’s effort to revive the economy, has been the target of many barbs from the opposition over the slowdown. On Saturday as she fielded one question after another on the economy at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Sitharaman said the criticism, much of it directed at her, came with the job.

“I don’t allow it to worry me,” Sitharaman said in response to questions from the audience on how she took the barrage of criticism hurled her way by the opposition. But it did sometimes, she added.

For much of the past week, Sitharaman has been turned into a dartboard by opposition leaders over her comment in Lok Sabha during a debate on supplementary demand for grants. Sitharaman was just about to respond to a point made by NCP Surpiya Sule on the onion crisis when a parliamentarian asked her if she ate onions.

“I don’t eat much garlic and onions, so don’t worry. I come from a family where onions and garlic are not used that much,” Sitharaman had said, before proceeding to respond to Sule’s question.

#HTLS 2019: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on slowdown, fiscal stimulus & GST

A short video clip of her answer that was interpreted to respond to Sule’s question was widely circulated on social media. Opposition leaders cited the video clip to target her for being insensitive to concerns of people around the high price of the bulb.

Her office later tweeted a complete version of the question and her answer. But the barbs have not stopped.

At the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Sitharaman said: “I am not inhuman. I sometimes do get affected by it (personal criticism)”.

She quickly added that the criticism came with the job.

“But I suppose it is part of the job. So I can’t really wish it away. Let it come. Let it keep coming. I will handle it,” said Sitharaman, the lead speaker on Day 2 of the Summit.

In the course of the interaction, Sitharaman had announced that there will be more fiscal stimulus to revive the economy, underlined the need for a simpler tax code with no ifs and buts and promise that the Centre will honour the compact to pay Goods and Services Tax compensation to the states.

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