“Replacing Old Political… Oh, Sorry…”: Nirmala Sitharaman’s Slip Of Tongue, And A Smile: Here What She Said!!!

While delivering the budget speech to the Lok Sabha in 2023–2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made an interesting error. During her statement on the budget for 2023–24 in the Lok Sabha today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a somewhat “political” error by substituting the word “polluting” for the actual word. This caused hilarity among the members of the ruling BJP–led NDA. The Sansad TV broadcast omitted depicting how the Opposition responded.

“Vehicle replacement is an important ongoing policy,” she said, “Replacing the old political… oh, sorry…,” and she paused. Laughter ensued. “I know!,” she said with a smile, corrected herself, and stressed the word “polluting” in place of “political” multiple times as she continued on, speaking about replacing old vehicles as part of an environmental conservation policy.

“Replacing old polluting vehicles is an important part of greening our economy,” she said. “In furtherance of the vehicle scrapping policy mentioned in the budget for 2021–22, states will also be supported,” she added. At the end of the budget, she raised the earnings level to the point where no income tax is payable: 7 lakh per year beginning in the fiscal year 2023-24. So far, it has cost Rs 5 lakh. Under a new five-slab structure, those making even a rupee above it will have to pay tax, though they will get exemptions already available, such as life insurance premiums and long-term mutual funds.

As India celebrated 75 years of independence, she opened her address by referring to it as the “first budget of Amrit Kaal,” a phrase that was coined by PM Narendra Modi’s administration to signify a better future. “Our vision for the ‘Amrit Kaal’ includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy, with strong public finances and a robust financial sector. To achieve this ‘jan-bhaagidari’ (public participation) through ‘sabka saath, sabka prayaas’ (efforts by all) is essential,” she stated. She listed seven top priorities: “Inclusive development, reaching the last mile, agriculture and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector.”