Union Budget: History, Facts and All You Need to Know

Safalta Expert Published by: Kirti Singh Updated Mon, 31 Jan 2022 10:13 PM IST

Highlights

Do you want to know about the History of the Indian Budget and other facts related to it, then read this complete article for all the details you need to know about the Union Budget.

On February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will submit her fourth consecutive Union Budget, which will include financial accounts and tax plans for the fiscal year 2022-23. (April 2022 to March 2023). Here are a few budget facts:


First Budget of India:

On April 7, 1860, Scottish economist and politician James Wilson of the East India Company presented the Budget to the British Crown for the first time in India. R K Shanmukham Chetty, India's first Finance Minister, delivered the country's first budget on November 26, 1947.

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Longest Budget Speech:

When she presented the Union Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020, Sitharaman set a new record for the longest speech, speaking for 2 hours and 42 minutes. She had to cut her speech short with two pages left because she was feeling nauseous.

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She requested that the Speaker consider the rest of the speech as read.


Shortest Budget Speech:

In 1977, Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel, the then-finance minister, spoke for only 800 words.


Most Number of Budgets:

Former Prime Minister Moraraji Desai holds the record for the most budgets presented in the country's history. During his tenure as finance minister from 1962 to 1969, he presented ten budgets, followed by P Chidambaram (9), Pranab Mukherjee (8), Yashwant Sinha (8), and Manmohan Singh (8). (6).


Language of the Budget:

The Union Budget was delivered in English until 1955. The Congress-led administration, on the other hand, later opted to print the Budget papers in Hindi and English.


Time:

The Union Budget was delivered at 5 p.m. on the final working day of February until 1999, as was customary in the British era. In 1999, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha altered the time of the budget presentation to 11 a.m. In 2017, Arun Jaitley began presenting the Union Budget on February 1, breaking with the colonial tradition of presenting it on the final working day of the month.


First Women:

After Indira Gandhi, who presented the budget for the fiscal year 1970-71, Sitharaman became the second woman to present the budget in 2019. That year, instead of carrying the typical budget briefcase, Sitharaman carried the speech and other documents in a traditional 'bahi-khata' with the National Emblem.


Paperless:

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the Budget for 2021-22 was made paperless for the first time in Independent India.


Printing:

The budget was printed at Rashtrapati Bhavan until 1950 when it was leaked and the printing was moved to a press on Minto Road in New Delhi. In 1980, a government press was established in the North Block, the finance ministry's headquarters.


Railway Budget:

The railway budget and the Union Budget were submitted separately until 2017. The railway budget was combined into the Union Budget in 2017 and presented concurrently after being presented separately for 92 years.


Iconic Budgets:

Carrot & Stick Budget: On February 28, 1986, VP Singh presented the Congress government with the Union budget, which was the first step toward ending the license raj in India. The budget was dubbed the 'Carrot and Stick' budget because it included both rewards and penalties. It created the MODVAT (Modified Value Added Tax) credit to reduce the tax cascade that consumers had to pay, as well as an aggressive crackdown on smugglers, black marketers, and tax evaders.

The Black Budget: The Black Budget, issued by Yashwantrao B Chavan under the Indira Gandhi government in 1973-74, was named after the fiscal deficit of Rs 550 crore that year. It was a time when India was in serious financial trouble.

Dream Budget: In the 1997-98 budget, P Chidambaram employed the Laffer Curve idea to cut tax rates and raise revenue. He lowered the maximum marginal income tax rate for people from 40% to 30% and for domestic firms from 35% to 35%, in addition to implementing a slew of important tax reforms, including voluntary disclosure of income plans to recapture black money. It was dubbed the 'Dream Budget' because it reduced customs charges to 40% and streamlined the excise duty structure.

Epochal budget: The 'Epochal Budget' is Manmohan Singh's momentous 1991 budget, which ended the license raj and inaugurated the era of economic freedom under the PV Narasimha Rao government. It was presented at a time when India was on the verge of economic collapse, and it included measures such as lowering customs duties from 220 percent to 150 percent and encouraging exports.

Once-in-a-Century Budget: Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a "once-in-a-century budget" on February 1, 2021, with the goal of reviving Asia's third-largest economy by investing in infrastructure and healthcare while depending on an aggressive privatization policy and strong tax revenues.

Millennium Budget: The Millennium Budget of Yashwant Sinha in 2000 established the groundwork for the growth of India's Information Technology (IT) industry, phasing out incentives for software exporters and lowering customs duties on 21 products including computers and computer equipment.
Rollback Budget: The Rollback Budget refers to Yashwant Sinha's 2002-03 budget for the NDA administration led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in which various measures were canceled or rolled back.
 
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