After more than a year long struggle with kidney complications, former finance minister Arun Jaitley died on Saturday at AIIMS, Delhi. He was 66 years old. He was admitted to the hospital on 9 August after he complained of breathlessness.
In a press release, AIIMS declared the demise of the senior BJP leader. When admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the All India Institute of Medical Science on 9 August, Jaitley had been declared haemodynamically stable. Hemodynamically stable means the patient has a stable heart pump and good blood circulation. Now further bulletin issues were made by the AIIMS authorities on his health condition following after that.
Jaitley, had opted out of Narendra Modi’s cabinet in his second-term as a prime minister, citing health concerns.
However, he had made major contributions to the government and his party-the BJP, for more than two decades.
Before becoming the finance minister, he was a strong opposition leader during the Congress-led UPA government, making long arguments in the Rajya Sabha sessions.
Considered as a close aid to Narendra Modi, Jaitley supported him as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2013. He utilised his experience in practicing law to help the BJP several times by defending the party and its leaders in various courts.
Under his leadership, the Finance Ministry made the following important contributions:
- Goods and Service Tax (GST)
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
- Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act
- Direct Benefit Transfer
- Consolidation of public sector banks
He is also credited for inflation management and disinvestment strategy. GST, the new tax regime that failed to gain consensus under the leadership of previous finance ministers, P Chindambaram and Pranab Mukherjee, was successfully implemented by Arun Jaitley after 2 years of getting all the parties to agree to it. It was implemented on 1 July 2017.
He also set the ground for the subsequent transition of the new tax regime. Attending 32 of the 34 GST council meets (2 were chaired by Piyush Goyal when he took over as interim finance minister due to Jaitley’s health emergencies), he patiently heard concerns and suggestions of all the states and other stakeholders, setting a ground for his successor.
His contribution is also significant to get the Aadhaar Bill passed in Parliament and defend it in the Supreme Court.