9 Fascinating Facts About Union Budget of India!
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented the Union Budget for 2015-16. This is Modi Government’s first full-fledged budget after coming to power last year in May.
The budget 2015-16 has been widely hailed as a #SuperBudget, which will put India firmly on the growth path. You can check out our live highlights and key announcements of the budget here.
Indian Union Budget has slowly become an extravaganza over the years. Here, we are showcasing 9 interesting facts about Union Budget of India:
1.) On 7th April, 1860, India’s first budget was presented by James Wilson of East India Company to the British Crown
2.) Independent India’s first budget was presented by India’s first Finance Minister R.K. Shanmukham Chetty, 5 pm on 26th November, 1947 and spanned only 7.5 months from August 15, 1947 to March 31, 1948. The documents were printed in Hindi for the first time during 1955-66 budget.
3.) While presenting the budget in the Parliament, Finance Minister reads from a set of documents. Right before the printing process of these documents start, there is a legendary ‘Halwa ceremony’ at North Block, which houses the ministry and officials. Halwa is prepared by the Minister, and distributed among all officials. After this ceremony, all Govt. officials concerned with the budget preparations are locked in an undisclosed room without mobile or internet. They only come out once the Finance Minister is ready to start the presentation.
4.) The day of Budget presentation is always determined by the President; and the whole speech is divided in 2 sections: Part A deals with General Economic Survey and Part B deals with Taxation issues. And, The Government account is categorized into Consolidated Fund of India, Contingency Fund of India and Public Account
5.) Until 2000, the norm was to present Budget at 5 PM on the last working day of February, which was changed for the first time by Yashwant Sinha when he started presentation at 11.00 AM during 2001 Budget.
6.) Morarji Desai is credited with presenting maximum number of budgets in India: 10; and he is the only Finance Minister who presented budget on his birthday : February 29th in 1964 and 1968. The only finance ministers to have presented 7 budgets are: Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, Y B Chavan and C D Deshmukh
7.) Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are the only Prime Ministers who have also presented Budget inside the Parliament
8.) In 1982, when current Present Pranab Mukherjee delivered the budget presentation using 1 hour and 35 minutes, it actually started a trend of delivering long speeches. Indira Gandhi had said after that speech, “the shortest finance minister has delivered the longest budget speech.” In 2003, Jaswant Singh broke that record by using 2 hours to finish his budget presentation. Here is a comparison of paragraphs included in the budget speeches by different finance ministers.
10.) The budget presented by Manmohan Singh in 1992-93 is often hailed as the most important budget of India ever created. He reduced import duty from 300% to 50%, which liberalized Indian economy, and the modern IT industry owes much of its presence to that decision.