Open to further stimulus, have done what is best in my view: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Open to further stimulus, have done what is best in my view: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government is open to taking further measures during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I am not ruling it out. I have to see how it (pandemic) develops as we go further," Sitharaman told Mint when asked about further measures.

On May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, following which Sitharaman provided the details in five sets of measures.

Speaking to Mint, the finance minister responded to India Inc's criticism of the stimulus.

"I heard all of them and then took a decision. I do understand each has a perspective on what is best. I welcome all views. I have done what is best in my view," Sitharaman said.

When asked about her thoughts on being called a "fiscal hawk," Sitharaman said it was important to be careful with public money.

"I am hearing it for the first time. I would assume that is a virtue. I am dealing with public money; I am dealing with money, every penny of which I am answerable to. I have to be cautious," She said.

In a separate interview to The Economic Times, Sitharaman said the government had kept in mind lessons learnt from 2008-13, which was why it was cautious while spending to revive the economy.

She added that the measures announced last week could not be labelled as "supply side measures," since they would place money in the hands of consumers and boost demand.