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Piyush Goyal takes charge amid export decline and FDI contraction

Over the last decade, Goyal, 59, handled key and diverse portfolios, including power, renewable energy, coal, mines and railways during the first term of National Democratic Alliance (NDA)

Piyush Goyal, Piyush

Shreya Nandi Mumbai

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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Piyush Goyal has been reappointed as a Cabinet minister after his debut election victory from the Mumbai North constituency.

In the third term of the Narendra Modi-led government, Goyal continues to be in charge of the commerce and industry ministry but has had to relinquish portfolios such as consumer affairs, food and public distribution and textiles.

Goyal will take charge at a time when India’s merchandise exports declined by 3.1 per cent to $437 billion and a 3.5 per cent contraction was recorded in the foreign direct investments into India in 2023-24 due to global economic uncertainties and a slowdown in demand.

Over the past decade, Goyal, 59, has handled key and diverse portfolios, including power, renewable energy, coal, mines, and railways during the first term of the National Democratic Alliance.

In the second term, he took charge as commerce and industry, textiles, consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister.

In 2014, Goyal was inducted as Minister of State with Independent charge but was elevated to the rank of Cabinet minister. He also had two short stints as finance minister in 2018 and 2019 in the absence of the late Arun Jaitley.

Born in Mumbai, Goyal studied at Mumbai University. He is a chartered accountant by profession and has also worked as an investment banker.

As commerce and industry minister, Goyal took a tough stand by withdrawing from the China-backed Asian trade bloc Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in 2019, stating that it was not a balanced agreement.

More recently, India signed free trade agreements with Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Mauritius.

It was also during his tenure that India and the US were able to manage an out-of-court settlement of seven cases at the World Trade Organization.

In his role as a coal minister, Goyal spearheaded India’s first e-auction of coal mines. It was the first time in the country that coal mines were awarded through an auction route to private companies for both the production and sale of coal in the open market.

As power minister, Goyal launched the reform scheme for the power distribution sector — the first for this government and the fourth in the past 15 years.

Goyal was also behind the launch of half a dozen web portals for real-time data tracking of various parts of the power supply chain.

With inputs from PTI

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First Published: Jun 10 2024 | 8:29 PM IST

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