Arun Jaitley returns as Finance Minister three months after kidney transplant

The 65-year-old BJP leader had been on break since April and underwent a renal transplant on May 14.

Arun Jaitley returns as Finance Minister three months after kidney transplant

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Arun Jaitley will be taking charge of the Finance Ministry three months after he underwent a kidney transplant surgery. As per a government notification, President Ram Nath Kovind has re-assigned the finance portfolio to Jaitley.

"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 Arun Jaitley," a notification said. Jaitley will resume charge of both finance and corporate affairs portfolios on Thursday at the North Block office.

The 65-year-old BJP leader had been on break since April and underwent a renal transplant on May 14. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of the finance ministry in Jaitley's absence.

Since his surgery, he has been staying in a controlled environment as per the doctors' advice. He made his first public appearance since his surgery when he recently attended the Rajya Sabha for the election of Deputy Chairman on August 9. In 2014, Jaitley had undergone a gastric bypass operation to keep his diabetes in check. 

Though he was away from his office, he had been active on social media. Just recently after launched a blistering attack on the UPA in the ongoing political battle of words over GDP growth rates from 1993. Listing excerpts of economic data from the back series information released by the National Statistical Commission on Friday, Jaitley said the GDP growth clocked under the UPA was because of global trends and owed nothing to the UPA's efforts.

In a Facebook post, he had said that the credit for any GDP growth during the UPA years was either a result of the growth momentum achieved under the Atal Bihar Vajpayee-led NDA or a function of high global growth. He also accused the UPA of "recklessly" frittering away the advantages accrued over the NDA years.

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