New Delhi: A day after NDA's defeat in the crucial Bihar election, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that it will not affect the government at the Centre and it will continue to pursue its development agenda promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The Bihar election was important for us but NDA's defeat will not have any impact on the government at the Centre,” Jaitley said in an interview to CNN-IBN.
“During the last 10 years of Nitish Kumar's governance in Bihar, the developmental work has been minimal, as it was largely concentrated on building roads and other basic infrastructure."
“However, there is a lot more to do in Bihar in terms of power generation, health facilities, education etc. Hence, there is a huge scope for development in the state and we will certainly support Nitish ji in this context."
“In this year's election also, his poll plank was development, we welcome it. But after 10 years of governance you need to do more,” Jaitley said.
“If Bihar grows, it will certainly add to the national growth, and we are certainly going to help the state. People of Bihar deserve all round development."
“We are committed to eradicating poverty, and the results won't affect the government at the centre."
"A lot of decision are taken through the executive process - financial decisions and so on - and that process will also go on,” he said.
Referring to a question on GST whether the loss in Bihar election would affect the government's plans for its implementation, Jatley said: “GST is one of the most crucial reforms that the NDA government is pushing. Fortunately, Bihar under Nitish ji is supporting us on this issue."
“Bihar is a consuming state and the GST will hugely benefit Bihar. And I am certain as a responsible political Nitish ji will stand by it, it is in Bihar's interest.”
“The Congress is the only party which has reservations on the issue. We are constantly in dialog with other parties on this issue. We are also in touch with Congress and we will continue to do so,” he added.
Responding to a question on low global oil prices and its impact on the economy, Jaitley said, "There is tremendous pressure on public finances. However today, we are reaching a high growth figure, mainly through public investment. But private investment must go up."
"The benefits from the low oil prices goes to the public and in the developmental works of the government. Hence, the benefits are equally divided." Jaitley concluded.