On Tuesday, 2 July, several media outlets reported that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha had said that demonetisation had no effect on the Indian economy. The media outlets including The Quint, The Print, The Economic Times and Scroll, among others had picked up the story from news agency PTI.
The same information was also tweeted by Congress’ official Twitter handle.
TRUE OR FALSE?
Nirmala Sitharaman never said any such thing. The story by PTI, which misquoted Sitharaman, was picked up by various news organisations.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The articles reported by news organisations mention that she was responding during the Question Hour. Consequently, we searched for questions under the ‘date-wise’ section on the Rajya Sabha website.
We found out the answer that she gave in relation to the impact of demonetisation on the Indian economy. The answer given to Digvijaya Singh reads, “No Sir, the government has not undertaken any specific study to find out impact of demonetisation on lndian economy, particularly, MSME lndustries and on the employment.”
Sitharaman herself denied making any such statement in Parliament while responding to a tweet.
We further looked for answers related to the Indian economy and manufacturing sector that Sitharaman gave in Parliament as per the PTI story.
We found out that she was responding to Congress leader Anand Sharma who questioned the finance minister regarding the slowdown in the Indian economy.
(The Quint has intimated PTI about the error.)