The Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan alleged on Wednesday (January 22) that pre-Budget meetings are being held at the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) but Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is not being invited.
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not happy with Sitharaman’s performance, he should ask her to resign, Chavan alleged. The Union budget would be presented on February 1.
“Traditionally, pre-Budget meetings are conducted by the finance ministry. The entire Budget process happens at the finance ministry, under the finance ministers guidance,” Chavan, who was a minister in the PMO during the UPA years, said.
He also added that Modi held 13 pre-Budget consultation meetings which were attended by top industrialists. “Surprisingly, to none of these meetings Sitharaman was invited,” he alleged.
If this meant that the prime minister was not happy with her performance, Sitharaman should be asked to resign, the Congress leader said. “This (keeping Sitharaman out of the loop) will demoralise the entire finance ministry staff as this is unprecedented,” Chavan added.