Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun JaitleyReuters File

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday clarified his controversial remark on Nirbhaya (pseudo name given to the Delhi rape case victim) gang rape and said his comment was misinterpreted and did not mean to be insensitive.

"I regret that some word that I used was construed as insensitive, that was never my intention. I have been always been very outspoken about issues relating to crime against women. I am very sensitive to these issues myself," NDTV quoted Jaitley as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, while addressing a conference of state tourism ministers in Delhi over lowering influx of tourist and tourism revenue in the country, he made the insensitive remark on the heinous rape incident that took place in Delhi last year.

"One small incident of rape in Delhi advertised world over is enough to cost us billions of dollars in terms of global tourism," Jaitley said on Thursday.

His insensitive comment on the rape case attracted nationwide criticism and created controversy.

He was not only condemned by the National Commission for Women and Congress leader Shobha Oza, but also by Nirbhaya's mother who said she was hurt by Jaitley's heartless remark.

She even criticised the BJP government for politicising the rape and murder incident for winning the 2014 general elections and said they have displayed their petty thought by calling it a small incident after coming into power.

"When they wanted, they used Nirbhaya's name for political purposes but now that they are in power, they call it small," her mother said.

Oza has demanded Jaitley's apology "to the women of the nation" for "an idiotic and horrendous statement."