A senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Arun Jaitley was the Union finance minister through the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s first term in power at the Centre. Besides finance, Jaitley previously held the defence, corporate affairs, commerce & industry and law & justice Cabinet portfolios in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi governments. Jaitley, who has been indisposed for some time, was not able to present the Union Budget for 2018-19 and the 2019-20 Interim Budget due to his poor health. He also did not contest the Lok Sabha Elections in 2019. Arun Jaitley breathed his last on August 24, 2019.
With Jaitley as the finance minister, the Modi government was able to take several key economic initiatives like demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In Jaitley's stewardship, the Modi government merged the railway budget with the general Budget. Moreover, the decision to advance the date of the general budget to February 1 was also taken with Jaitley as the finance minister. GST went under several tax-slab revisions and Jaitley manoeuvred them efficiently. He also introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to resolve the issues with companies that were turning insolvent. IBC has played a key role in the corporate sector in recent times.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Arun Jaitley had unsuccessfully contested from Amritsar constituency, losing to the Congress party's Amarinder Singh.
Jaitley had contributed in a major way to the BJP and the government for over two decades. He was one of the most important strategists for the party. Much before BJP president Amit Shah emerged on the national scene, Jaitley was seen as a key player in preparing the party's strategies for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections. He was in charge of states such as Gujarat since 2002, besides Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Assam and West Bengal.