Nirmala Sitharaman
National Biz
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Markets and stakeholders have big hopes from Nirmala Sitharaman, who has taken over India’s first woman finance minister in almost five decades

Markets and stakeholders have big hopes from Nirmala Sitharaman, who has taken over India’s first woman finance minister in almost five decades

THE CHALLENGES

Kickstarting growth that is slowing on the back of weak domestic consumption  
 
Finding the money to fund welfare schemes  
 
Not overshooting the fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of GDP  
 
Liquidity crunch across the financial sector  
 
Tackling bad debt problems in the banking sector  
 
PSU bank consolidation and capital infusion  
 
Simplifying the GST process 
 
Strengthening the bankruptcy law  
 
Introducing new direct taxes code  
 
Cut corporate tax rate, remove exemptions  
 
Spurring private investment
 
THE CAREER
 
Sitharaman, 59, was a prominent spokeswoman for the ruling BJP  
 
She became commerce minister in PM Modi’s cabinet in 2014  
 
She was also assigned the role of a minister of state in the finance ministry  
 
She oversaw goal of spending on defence including jet planes, naval ships and drones  
 
She also had oversight of NDA’s flagship “Make in India” programme
 
EDUCATION
 
Sitharaman has worked as a research manager for audit firm PwC in London and has a Masters degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University