Once tipped to be the PM candidate, Arun Jaitley has emerged as one of the most important leaders in the BJP. Starting his political career as a student leader in the 1970s, Jaitley’s first major stint with Indian polity was when he was put under preventive detention during Emergency days. Over the time, Jaitley, who was once an ABVP leader in Delhi University, has emerged as a prominent face of the BJP and is currently among the top ranks of the party. Jaitley made his debut as a Lok Sabha candidate from Amritsar this time, only to lose against Captain Amarinder Singh of Congress. However, despite the loss, Jaitley is expected to get a top portfolio in the Modi Cabinet.
The governing council reviewed overseas long term investors, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds’ interest in investing in the NIIF. They also discussed the guidelines for investment of the corpus of NIIF, including the investment policy.
While banks made operational profits of over Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the last fiscal year, higher NPAs and consequential provisioning from profits against bad assets led to PSBs suffering cumulative net losses of Rs 18,000 crore, he said.
The government, Jaitley said, is looking at the direct tax reform to bring down the tax rate as also the indirect tax reform through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to create single sales tax for the country.
Jaitley is confident that the reform process that has been started by the government has helped to restore the credibility of the economy, and both domestic and international investors are much more confident about investing in India.
Under the Income Declaration Scheme, persons making disclosure of unaccounted assets will be given time up to November 30 to pay taxes, penalty and surcharge totaling 45 per cent at the fair market value.
As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is on a six-day tour to Japan, he focuses on structural and market oriented reforms, development in rural areas and social securities and stepping up of infrastructure spending.
In the lighter vein, the Union minister said that it is not easy to be a minister in this government as one has to keep pace with the prime minister who has been aptly described as 24X7 PM in articles in magazines.