For the third time since taking over as the command of the Finance Ministry in 2014, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2016-17 on February 29.
While the economy has improved to a certain extend since the Modi government took charge at the centre, challenges still remain – implementation of GST, building investors' confidence, tax issues, etc. Moreover, the various growth targets set by international bodies will cast pressure on the Finance Minister.
And even though the economy has grown by over 7 percent in the last quarters, challenges still remain for the Finance Minister of India to take the economy to a higher growth rate.
The Union Budget 2016-17 will surely put him to the test again.
Before that, let us take a look at some of the important events in the life of FM Arun Jaitley that have made him what he is today.
- Arun Jaitley, born on December 28, 1952, is the Union Cabinet Minister for Finance in the 16th Lok Sabha.
- While this is his first stint as Finance Minister, he had earlier served as Trade Minister and Law Minister under the National Democratic Alliance government led by the BJP more than a decade ago.
- He is also the Minister of Corporate Affairs and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting besides being the Finance Minister.
- During his reign as the Trade Minister, he led India in talks at the World Trade Organization, blocking attempts by developed countries to gain greater access to emerging markets without reducing agricultural subsidies.
- Born into a Punjabi Hindu Brahmin family, Jaitley studied at St. Xavier's School, Delhi (1959-67), graduated in Commerce from SRCC in 1973 and obtained his law degree from University of Delhi in 1977.
- By profession, he is a Senior Advocate with the Supreme Court of India.
- As a student, he was an active member and leader of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the seventies before he became the president of the Students Union of Delhi University in 1974.
- He was appointed Additional Solicitor General in 1989 by the VP Singh government.
- He has been the Executive member of the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) since 1991 and he is the Leader of the House of Rajya Sabha under the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
- A member of the upper house of Parliament since 2000, he has held several ministerial posts since 1999.
- Besides working on the paper for the investigation into the Bofors scandal, he has authored several publications on current and legal affairs.
- He became an executive member of BJP in 1991.
- He has his own website www.arunjaitley.com
- His official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ArunJaitley has over 23 lakh likes.
- He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank.
- As a man who advocates growth-friendly policies, Jaitley has stood for faster approvals for infrastructure projects.
- He has also criticised arbitrary tax rulings under the Congress-led UPA government for stifling investment.
- From 2009-2014, he served as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
- He was also the Vice President of BCCI but resigned after the IPL spot-fixing scandal.