We have to take care of businesses built by sweat and toil of Indians: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The Wuhan virus is taking lives and bleeding economies and the leaders of the world have a double challenge now, to save lives and to save livelihoods. WION, India’s first International news channel took an exclusive interview with a leader who perhaps has the most difficult job in the world right now, the Finance Minister of the world’s largest democracy – Nirmala Sitharaman on the show ‘Straight Talk’.

On being asked about the task at hand, she said, “At the very least challenging and as it is in India every issue or every policy decision has its own complexity when in comparison to any other country. India because of its diversity, because of the uneven spread of wealth and because of the levels of literacy, every policy becomes all the more complex when you try to implement it here.

About going through four rounds of lockdown and may be looking at a fifth. Where do we stand today and have we been able to achieve what we set out to and at what cost?

“As I said it was first lives of people we wanted to be sure at a time, when we had about just a hundred cases. The approach and the clarity with which one had to deal with this kind of a pandemic was unclear to many. India went through without a break one, two, three lockdowns and so on whereas there are some countries which have lifted the lockdown and then gone back to it all over again.

At what cost is a very big relevant question. Yes, it it has meant that the economy had to take a big beating. How much is it, we’ll have to wait and see but whatever it is the government is very clear that we’d stand by our industry stand by our entrepreneurs stand by our farmers we need our economy to be supported and we should support them for your job in this situation” the Finance minister explained to WION’s executive editor, Palki Sharma Upadhyay.

On positive growth projections likely only for India and China.

The Finance Minister said, “If there are engines of growth for the global economies all across – emerging, developed, not so developed economies, it’s only two countries and they are India and China. What gives me the confidence to say that this holds good even now are our macro-economic fundamentals and it is on the fact that our fundamentals are strong we are able to face a lock down which is fairly severe.”