Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted in the ICU at Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences since August 9, passed away on Saturday.
"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, Member of Parliament (MP) at 12:07 p.m. on Saturday. Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on August 9 and was treated by a multi-disciplinary team of senior doctors," said Aarti Vij, chairperson, Media and Protocol, AIIMS.
During Modi government's first term from 2014 to 2019, the 66-year-old leader had handled finance, defence and information and broadcasting ministries and was the undoubted No. 2 in the NDA government.
Here's a recap of what Jaitley did for the economy:
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Jaitley, under his tenure, implemented the GST regime on July 1, 2017. The regime replaced the multiple flowing taxes levied by the central and state governments, with the aim of easing the tax structure in the Indian economy. Although the idea of implementing GST came to light under the UPA rule, Jaitley managed to structure and enforce the tax regime. Also, he had set up a GST council, which regularly made changes in the GST tax slabs according to the consumer reactions.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)
The IBC became law on May 28, 2016. The law is a legal proceeding for insolvent companies or for those, who are heading towards it. It came as a step to clean up the growing non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector. Banks had begun to pile up bad loans and in 2017, the Reserve Bank of India released its first list of debt-laden firms, that consisted of 12 firms and directed them to adhere to the insolvency proceedings. Jaitley and his team have also made sure that the law adheres to achieving the goal, as the act has seen eight changes so far.
In 2017, Jaitley, in a first, had announced the government's decision to pump in Rs 2.11 lakh crore as recapitalisation to public sector banks, as they were struggling to keep their balance sheets afloat with the increasing NPAs. The infusion of these funds into banks took place at regular intervals. The banks, since 2000, have the highest stressed asset ratio eroding capital buffers and lowered the ability of the lenders to offer credit.
First Published: IST