Jaitley likely to skip Davos meet

Jaitley likely to skip Davos meet

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to go to the Swiss town of Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) as he is preoccupied with the Union Budget to be presented on February 1.

Jaitley, who was one of the key speakers at the India-specific sessions at the WEF, appears to have cancelled his visit at the last moment as he needed to concentrate more on the preparations of the Union Budget.

This is the first time in the recent past that a finance minister of India will be absent from the WEF's annual meeting.

The meeting is a four-day event that is expected to attract over 2,500 participants, including many leaders from the world of politics, business and civil society. The event will take place between January 23 and 26.

This is also the first time in about two decades that an Indian prime minister will be attending the meet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Davos from January 22 to 23. He is slated to address the inaugural plenary session.

Besides that, he will meet 60 of the world's topmost business leaders and chief executive officers at a dinner on January 22.

Five Union ministers, including Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, are attending the event.

A large number of sessions at Davos are being attended by Indian ministers.

Prabhu is likely to attend nine sessions across three days, Pradhan will attend five, Goyal will attend 10, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh three sessions and Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar will be part of two sessions.

Sessions on financial inclusion, digital payments, modernisation of Indian railways and skill development will be organised by India.

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