Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is in the US for medical treatment, is in good health and recovering very rapidly, said interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Goyal, who was this week appointed interim finance minister for the period when Jaitley remained indisposed, however, did not comment on the nature of illness. He also did not say when Jaitley will be back. At the International Customs Day function here Friday, Goyal said he was "only standing in for Arun Jaitley."
"I had a chance to talk to him late last night and actually even early morning today, he is in good health, recovering very rapidly," he said. "And I am sure all of you will join me in wishing him the best of health and many many years of service. He sent his regards to all award winners." Jaitley, last week, unexpectedly flew to the United States for, what officials in the finance ministry said, "medical checkup."
Sources, however, said he had gone to the US on January 13 and underwent surgery on Tuesday after being tested for soft tissue cancer. Doctors, they say, have advised him two weeks' rest. On Wednesday, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said that Goyal would be the interim Finance Minister and Jaitley would be a minister without portfolio.
Goyal said Jaitley has ably held the stewardship of the Finance Ministry over the last five years, and under his leadership historic developments like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) have taken place. This, he said, has helped in 66-point jump in the ease of doing business ranking, made it easier to trade and made India one of the brightest spots in the world economy.