Arun Jaitley has resumed charge of the finance and corporate affairs ministry on Friday, February 15, a government statement said. Jaitley makes his return after a hiatus of nearly one month following his medical treatment in the United States.
According to reports, Jaitley is suffering from soft tissue cancer and had stopped attending office last month to go to New York for medical treatment. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was temporarily given charge of the finance and corporate affairs ministry on January 23.
This is not the first time that Jaitley's portfolio passed on to Piyush Goyal. In 2018, the 66-year-old had taken a leave of absence for 100 days due to a kidney ailment from April to August. Even then Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was in charge of the portfolio.
"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 Shri Arun Jaitley," a government statement said.
On Friday, Jaitley immediately rejoined duty. He had attended a meeting of the Cabinet Committee to discuss the Pulwama attacks which occurred on February 14.
A prominent member of Modi's inner circle, Jaitley had a gastric bypass operation in 2014 to keep his diabetes in check.
Jaitley is the publicity head of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) election team and often acts as the chief spokesman for the government.
(Article written with inputs from agencies)