Sources said Mr Jaitley returned to work on Thursday after getting clearance from his doctors.
New Delhi: Union minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday resumed charge of the finance and corporate affairs ministries after over three months, when he had kidney transplant surgery. Mr Jaitley resumed work at a time when the rupee has hit a new low of Rs 70 against the dollar, and there are concerns over the widening of current account deficit, increase in import bills and a looming global trade war that could hit the world economy.
Mr Jaitley, 65, underwent a renal transplant operation on May 14 at AIIMS. In this period, railway minister Piyush Goyal, who also holds charge of coal, was handling the finance and corporate affairs ministries.
After reassuming charge, Mr Jaitley held an hour-long meeting with senior officials, including finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia, and also the heads of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. The meeting was also attended by expenditure secretary A.N. Jha, financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar and corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas.
Mr Jaitley attended office for around two and a half hours before returning home.
Sources said Mr Jaitley returned to work on Thursday after getting clearance from his doctors. He is reported to have been advised by doctors to cut public interactions to a minimum to protect him from contracting any infection. His room has been sanitised in order to reduce the risk of infection and the number of visitors limited.
“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs to Shri Arun Jaitley,” said a Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqué on Thursday morning.
After surgery, Mr Jaitley was active on the social media, writing blogs on the economy, Emergency, the no-confidence motion in Parliament, the Rafale fighter deal and the Goods and Services Tax, among other issues.
He also participated in a couple of events like a banking conclave and the first anniversary of GST’s launch via video-conferencing. Mr Jaitley held at least one meeting with ministry officials through video-conferencing after the surgery. He made his first appearance in Parliament for a few hours to participate in the election for deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha on August 9.
Mr Jaitley’s return was welcomed by several leaders and ministers. I&B minister Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted: “As he resumes charge at @FinMinIndia and Ministry of Corporate Affairs, a warm welcome to @arunjaitley ji. Gladdened by his recovery from surgery, and wishing him many healthy years ahead in the service of the nation.”