New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday resumed work as the Finance Minister following medical treatment in the US and a presidential directive to assign him the portfolio. “The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs to Arun Jaitley,” said a communication from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Jaitley, 66, flew to the US for medical reasons and could not present his last Budget which was an interim one though it was prepared under his guidance. His cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal replaced him to present the Budget in Parliament. Jaitley’s immediate major engagements would be to address the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India next week to brief it about the budget in its customary post budget meeting.
On Friday morning, he attended a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting that was said to have discussed the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that left 45 CRPF troopers dead a day earlier. Jaitely underwent a kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on May 14, 2018. He stopped attending office at the start of April last year and was back in North Block – the seat of Finance Ministry – on August 23, 2018.
Even at that time, Goyal had manned the Ministry for about 100 days. Jaitley passed on the temporary charge of Finance Ministry and Corporate Affairs to Railway Minister Goyal on January 23 before flying to the US. Goyal presented the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s last budget earlier this month ahead of general elections due in April-May.