New Delhi, Feb 28: Will the Union Budget 2016-17 be Arun Jaitley's last one? As per a Reuters report in January, a Cabinet reshuffle is may be on the cards after the Budget is announced on Monday (Feb 29) as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming to reinvigorate his top administrative team.
As per a Time article, although the PM's spokesperson refused to comment on the issue and Jaitley's office denied knowledge of a reshuffle, the Reuters report suggested that the Union finance minister could be moved to the defence ministry, a portfolio he had jointly held after the NDA came to power in 2014.
Though nothing clear was said about his replacement, Modi's Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal could be the man.
According to the Reuters report, Jaitley has been held a failure in implementing a major tax reform and the critics are running out of patient as the Indian economy is growing fast but is unable to create enough jobs for an expanding workforce.
Is Modi planning to make fresh moves ahead of key state elections?
It is also felt that through this move, Modi will try to convey the message that he is not ready to give up the hope of effecting the much-awaited economic reform, particularly ahead of some crucial state elections, including in UP early next year.
The report also said that Goyal, who has earned a good name through his work in the power sector, is being groomed for the top job and a white paper on banking was recently shared with him to know his inputs. Sources close to Goyal, however, denied knowledge of it.