NEW DELHI: Arun Jaitley, a senior BJP leader and finance minister in the first term of the Modi government, breathed his last at AIIMS on Saturday after a long illness. The veteran leader, who has been a lawyer by profession, will be known for his tough decisions during the Finance Minister's visit. He said it was Jaitley's initiative to financially check black money, corruption in the country that the government could take such tough decisions.
The merger of several banks in demonetisation, GST, digital transactions, SBI and Bank of Baroda, etc., were some of the decisions that need to be taken by a strong will. It is because they directly affected everybody in the country. Jaitley was an MP from the Rajya Sabha. He was away from politics because of his poor health.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Modi had sealed the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in circulation. Apart from the PM, only Jaitley and a select few were aware of the government's unprecedented move. Jaitley was instrumental in deciding the demonetisation. Ten days after the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, the Finance Minister said, due to the government's decision, banks will now be able to lend at a cheaper rate. At the same time, the parallel economy will be liberated.
The credit for increasing digital banking across the country after demonetisation also goes to Jaitley. Services like Debit Card, Credit Card, Mobile Wallet, POS Machine, UPI BHIM App were launched across the country. This has led to a significant reduction in cash transactions and people are now using them in large numbers.
The GST came into effect across the country from midnight on 1st July 2017. From this day, 17 taxes and 26 Cesswere were scrapped across the country. The GST Council had set up five slabs across the country, according to which people had started paying tax. Except for items like petrol-diesel, tobacco products, alcohol, LPG cylinders, all but that were brought under its ambit.
merger of banks
It was under Jaitley's chairmanship that the associate banks and the Indian Women's Bank were merged with SBI. This was followed by the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank at Bank of Baroda. Jaitley has played a role as a troublemaker of the Government.
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