Week Before Budget, Piyush Goyal Becomes Interim Finance Minister

The change was made in view of the indisposition of Arun Jaitley, who is currently undergoing treatment abroad.

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Nine days ahead of the interim Budget, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of the Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries on Wednesday, 23 January in view of the indisposition of Arun Jaitley, who has undergone surgery and advised a two-week rest.

According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, the President, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, directed that during the period of Jaitley's indisposition, the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Corporate Affairs, held by him, be temporarily assigned to Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

Further, Jaitley has been designated as a minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time when he is able to resume his work as the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Corporate Affairs.

The BJP-led NDA government will be presenting its last Budget on 1 February.

This will be Goyal’s second stint in both the ministries. He had headed the crucial portfolios for over 100 days when Jaitley had undergone a kidney transplant in May last year. Jaitley had resumed charge of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs, on 23 August, last year.

Speaking a fortnight ahead of the Budget, Jaitley underlined that there have been precedents of interim budgets containing major policy announcements to tackle an urgent situation.

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