Nirmala Sitharaman Is First Woman Finance Minister After 48 Years To Present Budget; Who Was The First?

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The Lok Sabha session of the newly elected cabinet will be held between June 17 to June 26. Reports indicate that after the presentation of the Economic Survey for 2019-20 on July 4, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India will present the Union Budget on July 5.

Nirmala Sitharaman Second Woman To Present Union Budget

Sitharaman is the second woman finance minister after the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to present the Union Budget. Incidentally, she is also the first female finance minister to present the budget in the last 48 years. In 1970-71 when Indira Gandhi was the PM she took over the charge of Finance Minister after the then Finance Minister Morarji Desai tabled his resignation.

After retaining the Finance portfolio with herself for a year, Indira Gandhi later on handed over the responsibility to home minister Yashwantrao Chavan. Former Prime Minister Morarji Desai presented the Union budget 10 times which is the most by any Minister of Finance in India.

It seems Nirmala Sitharaman is balancing her career parallel to the former only woman PM of India. In the first term of Modi government, Sitharaman became only the second female defense minister after Indira Gandhi who headed the Ministry of Defense till 1982.

However, there is a major difference. Even though Indiraji was the defense minister from November 1975 to December 1975 and January 1980 to January 1982 she was not the full-time women defense minister because she was also the PM of India.

Sitharaman To Address Troubles In Financial Sector  

Prior to presenting her maiden Budget in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman has started holding deep consultations with industry and trade bodies apart from other stakeholders. Ficci and CII have already come up with their detailed presentations based on the suggestions by these bodies for the 2019 Budget.    

Sitharaman will have to address several issues like the slowing economy, liquidity crisis in NBFCs, private investments, job creation, rising NPA’s agrarian crisis, exports revival, and increasing public investment without making any compromise on the fiscal prudence. The budget team of 59-YO Sitharaman includes Minister of  State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur and Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

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