Jaitley officiates from home, Adhia goes on leave

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been officiating from home owing to his health concerns and Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has gone on a 16-day long leave.

Adhia has been on leave since Saturday, a day after the 27th GST Council Meeting and will be remaining out off office till May 20, 2018.

According to highly placed sources in the finance ministry, Adhia has taken leave for an unusually long period to go for a yoga/meditation holiday with his guru Swami Visharadanand Saraswati to Mysuru.

"The competent authority has approved the assignment of the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Revenue, to Ajay Narayan Jha, secretary, Department of Expenditure, during Adhia's absence," a circular released by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Friday said.

Jaitley has also not attended office for a month as he awaits a kidney transplant, according to sources.

After Jaitley went on leave, the ministry was not allocated on an interim basis to anyone, as Jaitley has been clearing all the files from home.

Adhia, a Gujarat cadre IAS official who has worked for long periods with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, is also known to be close to him.

According to various sources close to the finance ministry, Adhia exercises significant influence in the various issues concerning ministry. Adhia has been instrumental in the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax last year.

However, a finance ministry official told DH that the work is going on smoothly. "Earlier Adhia was in charge of affairs, now Jha is in charge," he said on the condition of anonymity.

Though there are two ministers of state in finance — Shiv Pratap Shukla and P Radhakrishnan — they are in charge of Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Affairs, respectively.

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Jaitley officiates from home, Adhia goes on leave

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