New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday hit back at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his recent remarks wherein he had claimed that the government was stealing money from the RBI for masking the ‘self-created economic disaster’. Addressing a press conference, the Finance Minister advised Gandhi to consult senior leaders of his party before speaking on ‘such matters’.

“Whenever Rahul Gandhi raises things like ‘chor,chori,’ one thing comes to my mind, he tried his best ‘chor, chor,chori,’ but public gave him befitting reply. What’s the point of using the same words again? He should at least consult senior leaders in the Congress party who have been ministers in the past before speaking on such matters,” said Sitharaman, hours after Rahul Gandhi accused the government of stealing money from the RBI.

Upping the ante against the Congress leader, Sitharaman further stated, “He (Rahul Gandhi) is an expert on the subject of stealing. Thus, I pay no great attention to his comments.”

Furthermore, the Finance Minister accused the Congress party of maligning the reputation of the Reserved Bank of India. “This committee (Bimal Jalan Committee) was appointed by RBI, had experts, they gave a formula based on which the amount was arrived at, now any suggestions about the credibility of RBI, therefore, for me seems a bit outlandish,” Sitharaman asserted.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had attacked the government saying the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister were “clueless” as to how to revive the economic slowdown. Drawing an analogy, Rahul had claimed that “stealing” from the central bank was like using a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

“PM & FM are clueless about how to solve their self created economic disaster. Stealing from RBI won’t work – it’s like stealing a Band-Aid from the dispensary & sticking it on a gunshot wound. #RBILooted,” Gandhi tweeted.

On Monday,  the board of the RBI accepted the Bimal Jalan panel recommendations and decided to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore in dividend and surplus reserves to the Government of India.

Issuing a statement, the RBI had said,”The Central Board has decided to transfer a sum of Rs 1,76,051 crore to the Government of India comprising of Rs 1,23,414 crore of surplus for the year 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified as per the revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF).”