Key troubleshooter for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Karnataka poll incharge Piyush Goyal has been entrusted with the additional responsibility of handling finance ministry as Arun Jaitley, who underwent a renal transplant surgery on Monday, recovers. Being the finance minister of the country in Arun Jaitley’s absence, Piyush Goyal needs to work out immediate solutions for the various ailments plaguing the economy. Here are the three key challenges in front of Piyush Goyal:
Banking sector: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will have to work out solutions to improve the health of the country’s beleaguered banking sector. The sector, that is already under huge stress post multi-million PNB fraud revelation, needs new policies, needs foolproof solution to counter the challenge of rising non-performing assets (NPAs). The central government has however already taken various steps in this regard including the massive PSU bank recapitalisation programme.
GST and demonetisation shocks: Even as the economy recovers from the shocks posed due to structural reforms such as goods and services tax (GST) and demonetisation. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will have to come in with new solution to iron out glitches in the new indirect tax regime.
Rising inflation: The inflation is surging its head of late. Inflation in wholesale prices rose to a 4-month high at 3.1 percent compared with 2.4 percent growth in the last month. In April, inflation in retail prices increased to 4.5 percent which is higher than 4.2 percent growth in the last month. The government needs to work out immediate action plan to look into the supply-demand scenario.
Meanwhile, Piyush Goyal retains the heavyweight portfolios such as Railways and Coal. During the last Cabinet reshuffle which was held in last September, he was elevated to Cabinet rank and assigned the politically important Railways Ministry which Suresh Prabhu was then holding.
Piyush Goyal is a chartered accountant, and a former investment banker. He has held several important positions in BJP which include that of being the treasurer. In the past, he was also head of the BJP’s Information Communication Campaign Committee where he oversaw the publicity and advertising campaign of the party including the social media outreach for the Indian General Elections 2014.