Lesser-known facts of India’s Union Budget


Team Udayavani, Jan 29, 2020, 5:03 PM IST

Under Article 112 of the Constitution of India, the central government is constitutionally bound to lay down the ‘annual financial report’ of the country. This report is commonly known as the Union Budget of India.

The Union Budget also includes the Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill, both of which are to be passed by both Houses of Parliament before implementation on April 1 of the new financial year.

Here are the lesser-known facts about the Union Budget of India: 

  1. The word ‘budget’ has been derived from ‘bougette‘ which refers to a leather bag in French.
  2. The budget was introduced for the first time in India on April 7, 1860, by the East India Company to the British Crown.
  3. On April 7, 1860, the then-Finance Minister of India James Wilson, under the British rule, presented the first budget of India.
  4. The first Union Budget of Independent India was presented by RK Sanmukham Chetty, the then Finance Minister of India on November 26, 1947.
  5. India has had 26 finance ministers since Independence.
  6. Morarji Desai, the former Finance Minister of India, has presented the budget a record 10 times. This is the most by any finance minister in the history of India. Chidambaram is second in place to present eight budgets.
  7. The first budget of independent India was only for seven and a half months and that was the time when the ‘Interim Budget,’ that meant budget for a short period, came into being.
  8. Indira Gandhi was the first woman Finance Minister to present the budget on February 28, 1970.
  9. In 2001, NDA Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time of budget presentation from 5 pm to 11 am.Since then, this tradition has been continued further.
  10. The longest budget speech was delivered by former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, comprising 18,650 words, during his tenure as Finance Minister in 1991.
  11. Manmohan Singh as FM introduced the concept of Service Tax, VP Singh introduced the Modified Value Added Tax (MODVAT)
  12. In 2017, the Rail Budget, which was presented separately for 92 years, got merged with Union Budget.
  13. In 2019, FM Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the traditional briefcase and used a four-fold red cloth bag instead for keeping the budget documents referring the budget as ‘bahi khata'(ledger)

 

 

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