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Jaitley was instrumental in increasing minimum wages of labourers: Bandaru Dattatreya

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Former Union Minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya expressed condolences on the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday. He vividly recalled the co-operative nature of Jaitley when he was the finance minister in Narendra Modi's first term as Prime Minister.

"In the Narendra Modi government, he worked as the Finance Minister when I was the Labour Minister. When the labour reforms issue had come up, he was made the Chairman of the committee for labour reforms. When he came to know that the labour was being paid a minimum wage of only Rs 8,000 he was surprised and subsequently sought an increase in their payments. He was instrumental in getting the minimum wage up to around Rs 14,000," Dattatreya recalled.

"As Finance Minister his contribution in bringing Goods and Services Tax (GST) to life was immense. Even as Defence Minister, he contributed significantly. His loss is of monumental magnitude," he added.

Jaitley passed away in New Delhi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 66. A four-time member of Rajya Sabha, he became a Cabinet minister in the government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. He was Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2009 to 2014.

Jaitley was Finance and Corporate Affairs minister in the first term of Modi government and also held portfolios of Defence and Information and Broadcasting.

Due to health reasons, he was also a minister without portfolios for brief periods twice.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 24 2019. 16:45 IST