[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]inance minister Arun Jaitley may be a big casualty in the next round of cabinet reshuffle after he presents his third budget. With the economy not picking up pace and Jaitley failing to carry the opposition together to push through the crucial Goods and Services Tax amendment bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may replace him with Power and Coal minister Piyush Goyal.
The big reshuffle may happen after the budget session of parliament and assembly elections to four states. The Prime Minister is reportedly unhappy over the performance of some of the ministers and they too may be shown the door.
Modi is worried over recent setbacks the BJP received in local body and Panchayat elections in several states like Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. The BJP rout in Bihar has also unnerved the party which feels that there is big disconnect between the voters and the government.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ccording to a report in the Reuters which quoted senior Government sources, the PM may look to press the reset button on his leadership this spring to reinvigorate stalled economic reforms and appease critics, eyeing a mix of tried and tested allies and fresh blood.
“The government has overseen rapid economic growth but failed on tax and land reforms, and the euphoria that met Modi’s 2014 election triumph has given way to investor disillusionment; stocks have erased all of their gains since he won power,” the report said.
“Finance minister Arun Jaitley, responsible for delivering the Modi message to international investors, may move to Defence after he delivers his annual budget in late February,” sources told Reuters.
“Jaitley, 63, has failed to push through a major tax reform and critics have faulted his stewardship over India’s $2 trillion economy, which is growing fast but not creating enough jobs to employ an expanding workforce,” the report said..
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he news agency said that a spokesman for Modi declined to comment on the move and an official in Jaitley’s office said he had no knowledge of a possible reshuffle. Moving Jaitley to Defence, a post he also held in the early months of the Modi government, could better suit the veteran corporate lawyer and keep the strategically important portfolio in trusted hands, it said. Apart of from his failure to guide the economy to path of revival, Jaitley also does not share a good rapport with Amit Shah. This also is being cited as one of the reasons for his possible removal from the finance ministry.
“A central minister and two BJP officials said Goyal, 51, was being groomed for his next big role, and a white paper on banking was recently shared with him to seek his inputs. A Goyal aide denied all knowledge of an impending promotion,” Reuters said.
It is not clear what responsibility Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will get in the new scheme of things. The report said that Parrikar may not be unhappy going back to being Goa’s Chief Minister.
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