NEW DELHI, December 2: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the criticism that the government is not willing to listen is “absolutely unfair” and emphasised that she herself goes around the country and speaks to people.
The remarks came against the backdrop of industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s comments that there was an “atmosphere of fear” and people were afraid to criticise the government.
“We do take their criticism, many of them on my social media handle, call me names. I have no problems with that. They are affected. They feel that more needs to done and therefore they voice their concerns,” she said.
According to the minister, industry leaders do approach her and she also goes around the country speaking to them.
“… to say that the government is not willing to hear criticism is unfair. Absolutely unfair, because we do hear criticism. We do take criticism, we respond to criticism, and therefore, like, Home Minister responding to the very imminent senior elder citizens, industrialists, we do listen, and we do respond,” the minister said.
“If someone does not ask the government, and spreads one’s own impression, “it will not be in the national interest,” the minister said.
The minister also sought to end the controversy over her comments that the slowdown in the automobile sector was due to many factors like the change in mindset of millennials, who now prefer taxi aggregators like OLA and UBER instead of committing for monthly installments to own a car.
She said her observations were based on a study conducted by the Reserve Bank of India.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury created a stir in Lok Sabh + a when he called Nirmala Sitharaman as ‘Nirbala’. Reacting to the Congress leader’s comment, the finance minister said, “I have been called names in Parliament. If it is in anyone’s DNA to ask questions & run away before answers are given, it is some other party and not our party. Each time we come to give replies instead of name-calling.”
“I have been told that I am the worst finance minister, they’re not even waiting for me to finish my term. I told them to please give me more ideas, we will work on it,” she further added. (Agencies)