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Piyush Goyal Takes Over As Interim Finance Minister, Due To Arun Jaitley's Poor Health

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| January 24 , 2019 , 12:58 IST

Union minister Piyush Goyal was handed the additional charge of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs on Thursday, just a week before the Union Budget 2019 has to be tabled before Parliament.

Goyal, who already is in charge of the Railway and Coal ministries, will now stand in for Arun Jaitley. He will also retain his existing portfolios of coal and railways.

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.

Rashtrapati Bhavan released a statement reading “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.”

Last year too, Piyush Goyal filled in for Jaitley for nearly three months when the Union finance minister underwent a kidney transplant surgery.

The Finance Ministry is presently engaged in preparations for the outgoing Budget of the Modi government as the nation prepares to go to General Elections in May.

And instead of an Interim Budget, the incumbent government will most likely present a full-fledged one during the upcoming Budget Session of the Parliament.

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The Modi is reportedly planning important pre-election measures such as a universal income transfer scheme for farmers on the lines of Rythu Bandhu in Telangana.

There is also talk of interest-free bank loans to small farmers with the government bearing the interest burden and raising the exemption limit for income tax-payers.