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.