- Sources said Ms Sitharaman's visit to Dr Singh was a courtesy call
- Nirmala Sitharaman will present her first budget on July 5
- She took charge as the Finance Minister last month
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met former prime minister Manmohan Singh at his home in Delhi today. The meeting comes days before Ms Sitharaman presents the union budget in parliament on July 5. It will be her first budget after taking charge as Finance Minister last month following a landslide win in the national election for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dr Manmohan Singh is widely recognised for the economic reforms which he announced in 1991 when he was the finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government.
Sources in the Finance Ministry said Ms Sitharaman's visit was a courtesy call. This is her first meeting with Mr Singh after taking charge of the ministry.
It is the first time in nearly thirty years that Manmohan Singh, 86, is not in parliament during the budget session after his tenure of nearly three decades as a Rajya Sabha member ended earlier this month. Dr Singh had once said that he was not only an "accidental prime minister" of India but also the country's "accidental 'finance minister". "I have been termed as an accidental prime minister of the country, but I think that I was also an accidental finance minister," he said after the launch of his book Changing India in December last year.
Ms Sitharaman, 59, is India's first full time woman finance minister. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi held the portfolio too, but as additional charge.
Her promotion as Finance Minister in PM Modi's new government puts her in charge of perhaps the most challenging assignment for this government.
On July 5, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will unveil the budget for the financial year ending March 2020. On February 1, PM Modi's previous government had presented an Interim budget for spending till the new government took charge after the general election. Manmohan Singh had called the Interim budget "an election budget".
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