New Delhi: Congress spokesperson Divya Spandana extended her best wishes to Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday after the former took charge as the Union finance minister, but her congratulatory message came laden with a jibe.

With this portfolio, Sitharaman who was the Defence Minister in the previous NDA government has become India’s first fulltime Finance minister.

Taking to Twitter, Spandana wrote a laudatory note for Sitharaman, while also evoking former Prime Minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi, who held the additional charge of finance briefly in the 1970s and added, ” The GDP not looking great, I’m sure you will do your best to revive the economy. You have our support. Best wishes-”

Nirmala Sitharaman’s biggest economic challenge as she helms the Finance Ministry will be to find ways to arrest the declining growth and retain the tag of the world’s fastest-growing economy, boosting consumption and investment.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers to be released later on Friday will be the first reality check for the former Commerce and Defence Minister.

The GDP numbers for the fourth quarter and for the whole year ending March 2019 may have slipped. As per sources, FY19 may record a growth of 6.8 per cent while the Q4 GDP growth of last fiscal may be 6.3 per cent. There is a strong possibility of the FY 19 missing 7 per cent growth target set by the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

Sitharaman will inherit a slowing economy. She will also have to ensure that the Budget is presented on time addressing the slowdown concerns, expected tax revenue shortfalls and stepping up of public expenditures while maintaining a fiscal deficit.

 

With IANS inputs