Piyush Goyal made interim finance minister in Jaitley's absence
24 January 2019
Piyush Goyal, who is currently minister of railways and coal, will hold the additional charge of interim finance minister and interim minister of corporate affairs during Arun Jaitley's indisposition.
While Goyal will retain his existing portfolios of coal and railways, Jaitley will be designated as a minister without a portfolio during his period of indisposition.
“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Arun Jaitley, minister; the portfolios of minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios”, a government release stated.
Further, the release said, “as advised by the prime minister, Arun Jaitley be designated as minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs.”
Earlier in May 2018 also Goyal was given additional charge of the finance ministry for a period of three months when Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Jaitley, 66, left for the United States on 13 January for a "regular medical check-up". There have been reports ever since that he may not return to present the interim Budget on 1 February.
Jaitley is reported to have undergone surgery at a hospital in New York on 22 January. He has been advised at least two weeks rest by the doctors, a PTI report said quoting sources. Jaitley is believed to have undergone tests for soft tissue cancer this week.
There is no official word yet from the finance ministry on who will present the Budget scheduled for 1 February.