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Appreciate strong support given by India: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister congratulates Nirmala Sitharaman on reappointment as Finance Minister

June 11, 2024 01:06 PM

Colombo : Sri Lankan Foreign minister Ali Sabry on Tuesday congratulated Nirmala Sitharaman on her reappointment as Finance Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.


He said that Sri Lanka appreciates the strong support given by India during the challenging times and expressed confidence that the economic ties between the two nations will continue to grow.


In a post on X, Ali Sabry stated, "My sincere congratulations to @nsitharaman on being reappointed Minister of Finance & Minister of Corporate Affairs of #India. We appreciate the strong support you extended to #SriLanka during our challenging times, and I am confident the economic ties between our two nations will continue to grow."


As Sri Lanka battled against an economic crisis in 2023, India's assistance under its 'Neighbourhood First' policy gave the island country anchorage.


External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka twice in 2023. His first visit was in January last year and his second one in October. During his January visit, Jaishankar not only assured Sri Lanka of India's unwavering support to the island nation in its economic recovery but also invited the country's President Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit India.


Sitharaman has retained her position as the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs for the second consecutive time. Her continuation in these roles marks the commencement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new administration, reflecting a consistent endorsement of her leadership in managing the country's fiscal and corporate policies.

 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sitharaman has held various critical portfolios over her illustrious career. Her journey in the Modi government began in 2014 when she was appointed as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, before being elevated to the position of Minister of Commerce and Industry with independent charge.


In 2017, she made history by becoming India's first full-time female Defence Minister. On Sunday evening, in a solemn ceremony held at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sitharaman, along with other members of Modi's new Union Council of Ministers, took the oath of office administered by President Droupadi Murmu.


The swearing-in ceremony saw attendance from dignitaries including Nepal's PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Bhutan's PM Tshering Tobgay, Maldives' President Mohamed Muizzu, Mauritius' PM Pravind Jugnauth, Bangladesh's PM Sheikh Hasina, and Seychelles' Vice President Ahmed Afif.


Sitharaman, who has been a part of both the 2014 and 2019 Modi cabinets, assumed her role as Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in 2019. She has since distinguished herself as the first woman to hold these positions full-time, a role previously held by Indira Gandhi as an additional portfolio.


Born in 1959 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Sitharaman's educational background includes a degree in economics from Seethaiakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli and a master's degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her professional journey spans various roles including an economist in the UK and Senior Manager with Price Waterhouse in London.


Upon her return to India, she served as the Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad and later contributed to the National Commission for Women from 2003-2005. Her tenure as Finance Minister has been marked by several significant milestones, including the presentation of six Union Budgets.


In doing so, she equalled the record set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, surpassing the achievements of notable predecessors like Manmohan Singh and Arun Jaitley. Noteworthy changes under her leadership include the replacement of the traditional budget briefcase with a 'bahi-khata' adorned with the National Emblem, and more recently, a tablet wrapped in the bahi-khata.

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