Who is Piyush Goyal
Piyush Goyal, who had been the Union minister for railways and coal in the first term of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, has been given charge of the railways and commerce & industry ministries in the second term. In the previous term of the BJP government, Goyal had also donned the hat of the finance minister on a couple of occasions, standing in for then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during phases of the latter’s ailment. Goyal was the finance minister and corporate affairs minister from January 23 to February 15, 2019). He presented the Interim Budget for 2019-20. Among the most crucial things he announced in the Interim Budget was a tax concession to the lowest bracket of the salaried class. He also announced a scheme for income transfer to farmers. Previously, besides holding the independent charge of the coal ministry as a minister of state, Goyal also held the power, new & renewable energy and mines portfolios from July 5, 2016, to September 3, 2017. A member of the BJP, he has been representing Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha since 2010. During the first term of the Modi government, Piyush Goyal's tenure as the power minister saw the rollout of the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) and fast-tracking of electrification of nearly 18,000 unelectrified villages under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya). He also oversaw the government's LED bulb distribution programme, known as UJALA. He was first given the temporary additional charge of the Ministry of Finance from May through August 2018, as Jaitley was undergoing medical treatment. During his second stint as the interim finance minister, Goyal’s Interim Budget also saw the rollout of the PM-KISAN scheme, a direct cash income support scheme for small and marginal farmers. The measure, besides the income-tax rebate for middle-class taxpayers and other select announcements, were viewed as the government's bid to woo voters, especially distressed farmers, in the run-up to the 2019 elections.