Arun Jaitley back in North Block after 3-month break for surgery
23 August 2018
Arun Jaitley resumed charge at the finance ministry today after a three-month break for surgery. Jaitley, 65, had stopped attending office from April for a renal transplant operation on 14 May and had handed over his ministry’s charge to railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Jaitley has been reassigned the portfolios of finance and corporate affairs, three months after undergoing a kidney transplant.
“President Ram Nath Kovind has directed to assign the portfolios of the minister of finance and of corporate affairs to Arun Jaitley,” an official communication said.
Jaitley used to hold video conferences with officials and addressed events remotely. He even attended Parliament to participate in the election of the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Since his surgery, Jaitley has been staying in controlled environment as per the doctors' advice.
During his over four-month-long break, he was active on social media, writing blogs on various economic and non-economic issues, like National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Emergency of over four-decades ago, No-confidence Motion in Parliament, Rafale fighter jet deal and the Goods and Services Tax. He had also penned an emotional ode to mentor and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on 16 August.
Jaitley participated in a couple of events like banking conclave and the first anniversary of the launch of GST through video-conferencing. He held at least one meeting with Ministry officials through the same mode after the surgery.
Jaitley had a bariatric surgery soon after the BJP-led coalition came to power in 2014. The surgery was to treat weight gain that he suffered because of a long-standing diabetic condition, according to the Press Trust of India.
Jaitley has been active on social media, from taking on opposition parties to writing on issues including cuts to the goods and services tax rates.
Jaitley's first-floor corner office in North Block has been renovated and sanitised so that the minister is protected against infection, according to reports.