Arun Jaitley: Former India finance minister dies

Arun Jaitley: Former India finance minister dies



Arun Jaitley at a press conference in May 2019Picture copyright
Getty Photographs

Former Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley has died after a protracted sickness.

He was admitted to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital on 9 August with respiration points.

Mr Jaitley, 66, was a detailed aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a senior member of the governing Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP).

As finance minister in the course of the BJP’s first time period, he was credited with a landmark items and providers tax invoice – India’s most important tax reform since independence.

Nevertheless, citing poor well being, Mr Jaitley opted out of the BJP’s second cupboard after its huge election victory earlier this 12 months. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2018.

It was additionally below his watch as finance minister that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an in a single day resolution to withdraw 500 rupee ($7.60) and 1,000 rupee banknotes from the monetary system as a part of a crackdown on corruption and unlawful money holdings.

The transfer despatched shockwaves by way of the Indian economic system, which relied closely on money transactions.

Mr Jaitley was additionally answerable for pushing by way of the Items and Providers Tax or GST, which subsumed a messy plethora of oblique taxes, duties and surcharges right into a single tax.

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Media captionWhat’s India’s GST and why does it matter a lot?

A lawyer by career, Mr Jaitley was energetic in campus politics within the late 1970s and have become the president of the scholar union on the prestigious Delhi College.

He was amongst many activists who had been detained when then-prime minister Indira Gandhi suspended civil rights and invoked a state of emergency that lasted between 1975 and 1977.

He was appointed because the nation’s extra solicitor common in 1989 and formally joined the Hindu nationalist BJP in 1991.

In 2002, he was appointed because the occasion’s common secretary and one in every of its official spokesmen.

Mr Jaitley was famend for having associates throughout the political spectrum. Subsequently he would typically be known as upon to play the function of a mediator or act as a consensus builder when the BJP wanted the help of different events.


The cricket lover I knew

Nitin Srivastava, BBC Information, Delhi

That he was an excellent speaker, a dominating parliamentarian and authorized hawk is well-known.

However what all the time struck me about Arun Jaitley was his fondness for unique north Indian meals and cricket banter.

Regardless of battling diabetes, he all the time ensured that visiting journalists had been handled to lavish meals and would typically seize a chunk from the platters along with his trademark “who cares” wink.

Throughout an election marketing campaign in 2015 he as soon as made me wait for nearly 45 minutes in his resort room for an interview as a result of he was not very happy with the three-course breakfast that had been served to us.

As we waited, he needed to solely speak about cricket, asking me, “Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli – who do you suppose has the potential to make extra take a look at centuries after they finally retire?”


He served as a minister of state for info and broadcasting in 1999 earlier than taking extra cost of the regulation ministry in 2000 when he was additionally elevated to the rank of cupboard minister.

Mr Jaitley was additionally concerned in cricket administration, and was appointed because the vice-president of India’s cricketing physique, the Board of Management for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2009.

Mr Jaitley served because the president of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Affiliation (DDCA), one of many nation’s most influential cricketing our bodies, from 1999 to 2013.

He was accused of corruption throughout his tenure at DDCA, however no expenses had been ever confirmed in opposition to him.

He introduced a defamation case in opposition to Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejrwal after the latter alleged that there have been monetary irregularities on the DDCA throughout his tenure.

The case was settled after Mr Kejriwal tendered an unconditional apology.

Most just lately, regardless of his “retirement” from energetic politics, Mr Jaitley had tweeted extensively, backing the federal government’s resolution to revoke the particular standing for Indian-administered Kashmir and addressing head-on lots of the arguments in opposition to the transfer.

The controversial transfer had sparked sharp criticism from the opposition and a few Indians, even because it drew widespread help from throughout the nation.

Mr Jaitley known as the constitutional provision guaranteeing Kashmir particular standing a “historic blunder”, and praised House Minister Amit Shah for reaching “the inconceivable”.


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