Home English Arun Jaitley back as Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley is back as the Finance Minister after a three-month interval. He was recuperating from a kidney transplant surgery in May last.
Announcing his return, a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan read, “The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs to Shri Arun Jaitley.”
In Mr. Jaitley’s absence, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took care of Finance and Corporate Affairs.
However, with the economy facing some headwinds like a growing trade deficit, the falling rupee that touched 70 mark to a U.S. dollar for the first time ever and higher crude prices, the government has come under some sharp attack from the Opposition, especially the Congress, over the handling of the economy.
A draft report on the back series data of the GDP growth that claimed that the United Progressive Alliance years saw the highest ever decadal growth added to the government’s problems
Chidambaram takes a swipe at govt
On August 19, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram took a dig at the Modi government, saying three finance ministers — a de facto, a de jure and an invisible one — handle the economy; yet the management is not in very competent hands. Every world renowned economist who had come to work under this government has left and “none with a worldwide reputation is willing serve under this government.”
Mr. Jaitley, in a blog the same day, hit back. He said, “Post 2014, when the global economy was in slowdown mode, it was India and India alone which has been the fastest growing economy in the world for the last four years and has consistently overtaken China in the growth rate.
“The UPA government compromised on all macro fundamentals. It compromised on the fiscal deficit and the Current Account Deficit, it allowed inflation to spiral out of control and more so to create an illusory growth, it compromised India’s banking system through reckless lending.”