- Kiran Shaw tweeted why Health Minister didn't announce e-cigarette ban
- Ms Sitharaman said she was there as chairperson of a Group of Ministers
- On Wednesday, the government announced a complete ban on e-cigarettes
In an exchange on Twitter, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rebutted Kiran Mazumdar Shaw as she wondered why the ban on e-cigarettes, approved on Wednesday by the cabinet, had not been announced by the Health Minister. The Biocon chairman, a leading industry voice, had also raised other questions, like why the Finance Minister had not announced measures to revive the economy.
It started with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw commenting on Twitter this morning: "E-cigarettes banned, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman - should this not come from the Minister of Health? How about banning gutka too? How about MoF announcing some fiscal measures to revive economy?"
E-cigarettes banned, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman - Shd this not come from Min of Health? How about banning gutka too? How about MoF announcing some fiscal measures to revive economy? https://t.co/9c4hpRlUUD- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) September 18, 2019
Nirmala Sitharaman responded with a series of tweets, explaining that she had made the announcement after the cabinet meeting as chairperson of a Group of Ministers.
"Kiran ji, a few things. This press conference was dedicated to cabinet decisions. I began by saying that I was there in my capacity as Chair of the GoM which has dealt with the matter. Dr Harsh Vardhan is out of country for an international meet," said the Finance Minister.
"Cabinet Ministers join Prakash Javadekar, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, when required. Health Secretary was also with me, explaining details. These are protocols, as you know, which government press conferences follow."
Ms Sitharaman ended with a reminder that she had been "regularly speaking about measures" on the economy. "As Finance Minister - you might've observed - I've been working on and regularly speaking about measures we've been taking on matters of the economy," she wrote.
Replying to the Finance Minister, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said: "I now understand and I stand corrected. Thanks for explaining my confusion. Really grateful for your response."
Kiran ji, a few things. This press conference was dedicated to Cabinet decisions. I began by saying that I was there in my capacity as Chair of the GoM which has dealt with the matter. @drharshvardhan is out of country for an international meet. 1/3 https://t.co/oL1UXPqEvJ- Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) September 19, 2019
Yesterday, Ms Sitharaman said e-cigarettes were being banned as these had increased the risk of children taking up smoking.
Over the past few weeks, the minister has been addressing regular press briefings to announce, in tranches, measures to boost the economy after a six-year low in GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019-20.