BUSINESS

New Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweets on economy, more

nirmala-sitaraman

NEW DELHI: Nirmala Sitharaman, who became India's first woman finance minister in nearly five decades, isn't a novice at the job. She had a brief stint as a junior minister in the Finance Ministry in 2014, while handling the trade portfolio. She subsequently moved on to a full-time role as defense minister, but that didn't stop her from keeping track of the economy's performance.

Here are some of Sitharaman's Twitter posts, which give a peek into her understanding of the ministry she will helm and her personality. Automobile sales -- which are indeed a key indicator of demand in both rural and urban India -- have been declining for months now, and dropped 16% in April from a year ago, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. The slump isn't restricted to car sales. Demand for everything from air travel to consumer staples have taken a knock.

That's threatening growth in what has been the world's fastest-growing major economy. Sitharaman's tweet above was made last year when growth breached the 8% mark. The pace has since cooled for three straight quarters and probably slowed to 6.3% in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year that ended in March.

She later went on to comment about robust manufacturing growth in August. Factory output has since slowed and contracted 0.1% in March from a year ago.

Sitharaman is known to frequently tweet about the books she's reading, including this one on former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

Here's one more.

The finance minister also has another hobby close to her heart: making pickles. So much so that she calls it a "sacred ritual."