Kiran Mazumdar Shaw questions Nirmala Sitharaman’s priority on e-cigarettes ban, asks ‘how about reviving economy’


Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Wednesday took to Twitter to question the priority of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after the latter announced a ban on e-cigarettes. However, her criticism of Sitharaman prompted the finance minister to issue a rebuttal on the microblogging site.

Reacting to the news of the ban on e-cigarettes, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw had written, “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?

Responding to Shaw’s criticism, Sitharaman posted a series of tweets denying the charges of her misplaced priorities. The finance minister wrote, “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.”

Sitharaman added, “Cabinet Minister/s join @PrakashJavdekar, the I&B Minister, when required. Health Secretary was also with me, explaining details. These are protocols, as you know, which govt press conferences follow.”

Sitharaman concluded, “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.”

Later Shaw reacted angrily to media reports claiming a Twitter spat between her and the finance minister. She wrote, “Media loves to rile viewers by using sensational headlines n get eyeballs. There is no ‘spat’ or ‘war of words’ I consider our FM to be a very reasonable n pragmatic person who displayed maturity n grace in her response to my comments including her assurance on the economy.”

Sitharaman had announced the ban e-cigarettes because of an increased risk of children taking up smoking.


  1. Smt Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is one of the forces behind The Wire. That says a lot about her politics. It therefore not at all a surprise that she will find out reasons to be critical of the present government. The dignified, yet fitting, reply given by Smt Nirmala Sitaraman has put her in her place. Smt Shaw should stick to topics that she understands and not venture out into areas that display her ignorance.


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