File photo of Arun Jaitley. Photo: PTI
File photo of Arun Jaitley. Photo: PTI

Arun Jaitley may take charge as finance minister today

  • Arun Jaitley will now address the RBI board meeting on 18 February
  •  Arun Jaitley interacted with media via video conference from the US after Goyal presented the Budget

New Delhi: Union minister Arun Jaitley is likely to resume charge as the finance minister today after his return from the US on last Saturday, official government sources said speaking under condition of anonymity.

Interim finance minister Piyush Goyal hinted the same at an event on on Sunday as reported by Mint on Monday.

“I have got this opportunity to address you because I have the temporary charge of the finance ministry. It is a matter of happiness that Arun Jaitley has returned yesterday evening in good health. I spoke to him yesterday and told him that can I excuse myself from this event. He said, “No, because you have agreed for this event, you have to go’," Goyal said speaking at foundation day event of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited, a public sector unit under the finance ministry that prints currency notes and mints coins.

However, Goyal replied to the debate on the Interim Budget in Parliament.

Jaitley will now address the board meeting of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) scheduled to take place in New Delhi on 18 February. It is a custom for the finance minister to address the boards of RBI and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) after presentation of the Budget where RBI board members often place their queries on the Budget before the finance minister and other ministry officials.

On Saturday, Jaitley tweeted: “Delighted to be back home".

Soon after, Goyal tweeted: “Delighted to welcome back respected Shri @arunjaitley ji. Very grateful to him for his support, guidance and leadership."

Railway and coal minister Goyal was assigned the additional charge of finance ministry on 23 January, while the Budget preparation was on full swing, as Jaitley flew to the US for medical consultation. Last year too, Goyal was given charge of finance while Jaitley underwent kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Jaitley was 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", a statement from the President’s office had said.

However, Jaitley interacted with media via video conference from the US after Goyal presented the Budget. He also continued to share his thoughts from the US on a range of issues including the Rafale, death of former defence minister George Fernandes, Investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the ICICI Bank case, selection process of the new CBI chief, coalition of opposition parties among others.