NDA’s defeat is no setback for economy: Arun Jaitley


New Delhi: After NDA’s defeat in Bihar, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the loss will not hamper the economic reform process in Bihar. “I don’t see it as a setback to the economy and structural reforms will continue. They should continue at a rapid pace”

He said the government would continue with reforms by taking executive actions and also in the Budget, which would be declared in February next year.

“Our commitment is the states which need to develop more we have to help them more,” he added.

While NDA managed to get only 58 seats (BJP 53) in the 243-member Bihar assembly, Mahagathbandhan comprising of RJD,JD(U) and Congress got a whooping 178 seats.

The Finance Minister said that the “index of opposition unity” was one of the major factors that led to the triumph of the Mahagathbandhan in the Bihar assembly elections.

He admitted that some irresponsible statements by certain BJP members changed the narrative, leading to their loss.

When quizzed about the loss he said, “I don’t see it as a setback to the economy at all. If under Nitish Kumar, Bihar grows and grows well, we have already announced economic package for the state, certainly we are going to help.”

On the specific question of the pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, he hoped that Bihar would support the legislation.

In an interview with a magazine on being asked whether Bihar election was a referendum on the policies of the Centre, Arun Jaitley said, “The word referendum is loosely used.Every election is not a referendum. A state election is not a referendum. You are not contesting on one issue.”