Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may soon be moved out from the crucial ministry, Reuters reported Friday. Power and coal minister Piyush Goyal is likely to replace Jaitley who may be moved to the defence ministry. The reshuffle may take place post the annual budget on February 29, acccording to the Reuters report.
This will be the first major reshuffle for the Narendra Modi-led NDA government since they came to power in May 2014. While the economy has been stable, the BJP-led alliance has faced widespread criticism for failing to get key economic bills like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) cleared in Parliament due to non-cooperation from a Congress-led Opposition.
Reuters added that Jaitley's exit from the ministry is a reflection of the belief in the government that they need a fresh face to push key reforms to kickstart the economy. India's estimated GDP for FY15 has been reduced to 7.4% from earlier projections of 8% or more, thanks largely to stagnant private investments and a global decline in growth, led by a slowdown in China.
An investment banker-turned-politician, Goyal is likely to be rewarded for tackling chronic power shortages and backing renewable sources of energy, two issues that are important for PM Narendra Modi's pre-election promise to provide electricity to all households in the country.