Signalling that Arun Jaitley’s return to the country could further be delayed, President Ram Nath Kovind Wednesday allocated the finance ministry portfolio to Piyush Goyal, currently minister of Railways and Coal.
The communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said that Jaitley has been designated as a minister without portfolio.
“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Shri Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios,” a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, issued late evening, said.
Jaitley, who left for the US for medical treatment after the conclusion of the winter session, was expected to be back by later this week, so that he could present the vote on account, scheduled on February 1.
Goyal was in charge of finance ministry between mid-May and August when Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the national capital.
He returned to the ministry on August 23. According to a PTI report, Jaitley has undergone surgery at a hospital in New York on Tuesday.