NEW DELHI: In a clear indication that
, on medical leave in the US, will not present Modi government’s last Budget on February 1, railway and coal minister
was given the temporary charge of the ministry on Wednesday. Jaitley will remain a minister without portfolio during his indisposition, a government statement said on Wednesday. He left for the US for a medical check-up
“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Mr. Arun Jaitley, minister; The portfolios of the minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Mr. Piyush Goyal, and his existing portfolios in addition to, “President’s office from a statement said Wednesday late Wednesday.
Goyal had previously held the finance portfolio when Jaitley was recovering from a medical procedure for a kidney transplant. It also said that, as suggested by the PM, Jaitley will be nominated minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as minister for finance and minister for corporate affairs. The Modi government is expected to unleash plans to tackle farm distress as well as intermediate budget in the middle class and small and medium enterprises for sops, which account on mere vote beyond
Jaitley returned to the finance ministry after a successful kidney transplant and resumed in August his role as government’s main political spokesperson besides overseeing key programs. He took part in many debates in Parliament and presided over the 32nd meeting of the GST Council. Fifty-four-year-old Piyush Goyal, who has been the party’s treasurer, has seen his stature rise in government after he was sworn in as minister in May 2014.
Analysts are eagerly awaiting the interim budget to get riders on the government’s stance on fiscal consolidation and plans to help farmers directly benefit transfer.