November 10, 2015 4:42:24 pm
Terming Prime Minister’s leadership as ‘strong, decisive and popular’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said there was no question of any impact on ‘Brand Modi’ from the results of Bihar polls.
His comments follow a spectacular victory for Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance in recently concluded Bihar assembly elections over the BJP-led NDA. The newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House, while the NDA could get only 58 seats.
When asked whether there would be any impact of Bihar results on the ‘Brand Modi’, Jaitley said, “No. Nothing like that… Brand is anyway a word coined by media. His leadership is strong, decisive and popular.”
The Finance Minister also ruled out any impact of Bihar poll results on investor sentiment and said the economic reforms will continue.
“The poll impact won’t deter investor confidence and sentiment… I think investors are very wise people, they will see the performance of this government,” the senior BJP leader told PTI.
“They will judge us by our working style and we will provide good governance.”
“Many reforms are with executive decisions. Those will continue. Many legislative issues also get passed by Parliament. In some cases, there are delays, but those will be sorted out,” he said.
To a question on the pending GST Bill, he said this is a priority for the government and it will try to get it passed.
He expressed hope that Bihar would support the legislation because as a consuming state, it would benefit from the new indirect tax legislation.
“Bihar and the JD(U) had supported this in the Lower House… If Nitish Kumar, as a responsible leader, has been elected on the plank of development, then certainly he wants more revenue for Bihar…,” he said.
On whether he would talk to Nitish Kumar for supporting GST, he said, “I will speak to the new government that they should support the Bill.”
The government has plans to roll out GST from April 1, 2016, but the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.
Once rolled out, it will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi, and the like and ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country.
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