In the newly formed cabinet, Nirmala Sitharaman has been assigned the important portfolio of Finance along with Corporate Affairs.
With a slowing economy and rising unemployment, her job is clearly cut out. She would be presenting the Union Budget in July.
Since she has already served as a junior Minister in Finance and Corporate Affairs earlier, it won’t be difficult for her to get into action from day one.
That she is a post-graduate in Economics will be an advantage.
Before becoming the Defence Minister in the previous Modi government, Sitharaman served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. She was also Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge.
Prior to getting a ministerial berth after the BJP took power in 2014, Sitharaman served as a spokesperson for the party.
Whereas, on the other hand, Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister in the Modi I government, has been moved across the road from North Block to South Block as the Defence Minister.
He will replace Nirmala Sitharaman who, in the biggest surprise, is the new Finance Minister replacing Arun Jaitley who was not included in the cabinet because of ill health.
Arun Jaitley wrote to Prime Minister requesting not to include him in the new cabinet, and his letter write as “I am writing to you formally to request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time to myself, my treatment and my health and therefore not be a part of any responsibility, for the present in the new government,” he said.
Jaitley said that even though he was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to him during the Lok Sabha election campaign, “I would in future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health.