Steering the economy out of a deepening slowdown and putting it back on a high growth trajectory has been the single most important task for Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman since she took charge of the key portfolio in May.
On Tuesday, Sitharaman will be the guest at the Express Adda in Mumbai. The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
Amid a series of growth measures announced by the government over the last three months, Sitharaman unveiled the biggest corporate tax reform in India’s recent history by cutting the tax rate for domestic companies to 22 per cent, excluding surcharge and cess, and new domestic manufacturing companies to 15 per cent. The move has made India one of the most competitive countries in the region from a taxation standpoint.
Born in Madurai in a middle-class family, Sitharaman completed her Masters in Economics from JNU. Her mother-in-law was a Congress MLA and her father-in-law a minister in the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh in the 1970s. Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and became the party’s national spokesperson in 2010.
During the first five-year term of the Narendra Modi government, she served as Union Minister with independent charge for Corporate Affairs and Minister of State for Finance before she was elevated to the post of Defence Minister. In the present government, Sitharaman heads the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries.
At the Adda, Sitharaman will be in conversation with The Indian Express’s Executive Editor-National Affairs P Vaidyanathan Iyer and National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra.
Past guests at the event include Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, the Dalai Lama, the late Arun Jaitley, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, Congress leader and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara, world badminton champion P V Sindhu, and national badminton coach and former All England champion Pullela Gopichand.