India's finance minister unwell, cancels foreign travel

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is unwell and has canceled a visit to London next week for annual economic talks, two government officials said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attends a news conference sharing details about the recapitalisation of public sector banks in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal/File Photo

Jaitley, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inner circle, has been advised to rest, the two officials at the finance ministry said. They did not identify the nature of his illness.

“He will not visit London next week as he is not keeping well,” one of the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

Jaitley was due to meet UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at the India-UK economic dialogue and deliver a talk on “Looking Ahead to 2022: India’s Global Vision” at Chatham House, a policy think tank.

The organizers of the talk said the program has been canceled without assigning any reason.

Finance Ministry spokesman D.S. Malik was not immediately available for a comment.

Jaitley, 65, skipped a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries in Argentina last month. He told Reuters at the time he was not in a position to take a long flight.

In 2014 he had a gastric bypass operation to keep his diabetes in check.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Kim Coghill

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