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  • Conclave 2024: What’s revdi for you isn’t for them, hypocrites : Finance Minister on Opposition

    Published on March 16, 2024

     Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday hit out at the Opposition for offering freebies or ‘revdi’ to score electoral victories while criticising the policies of the Centre.

    Speaking at the 21st edition of the India Today Conclave 2024 in New Delhi, Sitharaman called the Opposition “hypocrites”. “What is revdi for you is not revdi for them,” the Finance Minister said.

    She made the remarks while addressing the session, “A $7 Trillion Economy by 2030: The Promise and the Pitfalls” at the 21st edition of the India Today Conclave 2024 in New Delhi.

    When asked by moderator, India Today’s News Director Rahul Kanwal on what would it take to unlock India’s full potential, the Union Minister replied that the”kind of reforms which we need to undertake now will have to have greater coordination between the Centre, the states and the urban local bodies”.

    She said that a lot of work has to be done at all levels and “reforms have to have the effect of cascading down at all levels”.

    What Nirmala Sitharaman said on top electoral bond donors, probe agency raids

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, speaking at India Today Conclave 2024, today said the links between probe agency raids and electoral bonds were mere assumptions.

    As the data from the State Bank of India released by the Election Commission (EC) revealed at least 14 out of the top 30 companies which purchased electoral bonds faced action by central or state probe agencies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday questioned if the earlier systems were 100 per cent perfect.

    She also termed the ‘talk’ of links between probe agency raids and election bonds ‘assumptions’.

    “I think you’ve based yourself on huge assumptions, that the money was given after the Enforcement Directorate raid happened,” Sitharaman said, commenting on a question about the data released.

    “For all you know, the money was given earlier, and despite that, we went knocking at their doors,” she said.

    “What if the companies gave the money, and after that, we still went and knocked at their doors through the Enforcement Directorate? That’s an assumption that the ED went and knocked at their doors, they wanted to save themselves and therefore they came up with the funds,” the Finance Minister said.

    “The second assumption in that itself is, are you sure they gave it to the BJP? They probably gave it to the regional parties.”

    The case is still in court, the verdict has come and the State Bank of India will submit what it has to,” Sitharaman said.

    “But, were the earlier systems 100 per cent perfect?” the Finance Minister asked.

    “Let us just recall what my predecessor (former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley), when he brought these electoral bonds, said, ‘this is better than the previous systems as the money is going from accounts to party’s account’,” she said.

    “It’s not a perfect system, but we have moved from a system where everyone did what they want to do,” the Finance Minister said, adding, “A system which was not perfect, from a system which was completely imperfect, was brought in.”

    India Today Conclave 2024: Nirmala Sitharaman says crypto assets cannot be currencies

    Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said crypto assets cannot be legal currencies.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday made it clear that cryptocurrency assets cannot be currencies, saying that the government’s position on such assets has always been clear. She was responding to a question during a session at the India Today Conclave 2024.

    When asked whether the government will reassess its position on cryptocurrencies amid the recent surge, she said, “Its position has always been this, that assets created in the name of crypto can be assets for trading, assets for money making and assets for many other things.”

    “Currencies are to be issued with a fiat of the government or the central bank of the day. And it is still unregulated in India. That is why we thought it fit to raise it in the G20 forum, because as it is so technology-driven, it will have a bearing on cross-border payments,” Nirmala Sitharaman added.

    “If one country regulates it and others don’t, it will be an easy way of moving money, round-tripping, funding drugs or even terrorism,” she added, highlighting the ways unregulated cryptocurrencies can be misused.

    She also spoke about several other aspects of the Indian economy, including consumer spending and household savings. When asked about shrinking consumer spending and lower household savings, Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is trying to boost small savings by offering better interest rates.

    However, she also highlighted the fact that more Indians are investing in the stock markets and not just mutual funds, adding that money flowing into the stock market has substantially increased. “In fact, India stands out as one of those countries, where retail investors are directly going to stock market,” she added.

    On shrinking consumption expenditure, she said the focus should be on the medium-term rather than analyzing it on a month-on-month basis.

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