In a major reshuffle of the Narendra Modi-led government, Piyush Goyal has been temporarily assigned the additional responsibility of handling finance ministry, in addition to managing the railways and coal ministries. Notably, Goyal assumes additional charge as Arun Jaitley, who underwent a renal transplant surgery on Monday, recovers.
Assigning Finance Ministry to Piyush Goyal during Arun Jaitley’s indisposition is a sign of an enhanced trust in his capabilities to handle such a high-profile responsibility, even as he retains heavyweight portfolios like Railways and Coal. Notably, Piyush Goyal had got a leg-up Goyal during the Cabinet reshuffle last September when he was elevated to Cabinet rank and assigned the politically important Railways Ministry.
The recent announcement of 100% village electrification by the Narendra Modi-led government in some of the remotest and inaccessible parts of the country, the roll out of the power sector reform (UDAY), the success of the world’s largest LED bulb distribution programme (UJALA) for energy efficiency, are some of his major notable achievements.
A chartered accountant, and a former investment banker, has held several important positions in his party, including being the treasurer and 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. Notably, he also served on the Board of India’s largest commercial bank, the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda, according to his website. Notably, Goyal was a member of the Standing Committee on Finance and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence.
As he takes on the additional charge, one of the major challenges will be to restore the health of the banking sector. The government has already taken various steps in this regard including the massive PSU bank recapitalisation programme. Further, even as the economy recovers from the shocks due to structural reforms such as GST and demonetisation, Goyal will have to carry take steps to iron out glitches in the new indirect tax regime.