25 Interesting Facts about Union Budget of India
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 on 1 February. In the upcoming budget, many steps can be announced to accelerate the economy in many sectors like railways, jobs, infrastructure, agriculture, education, aviation, etc. The government can allocate funds for each sector to bring the economy back on track in the budget. The concerned Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance prepares the budget annually. Talking about the financial year starts in April and ends in March. In this news, we are talking about some interesting facts about the budget. Do you think you know everything there is to know about Union Budget of India? Think again! Check out these 25 interesting facts about Union Budget of India you may have never heard.
Scottish economist presented the budget for the first time 163 years ago, know interesting facts related to it.
FACT#1. The word budget is derived from ‘bouget,’ which means small bag in French. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘bulga.’ It means ‘leather bag.’ In ancient times, big merchants used to keep all their monetary documents in a bag. Similarly, this word gradually became associated with the calculation done for raising resources. In this way, the year-long economic ledger of the governments got the name ‘Budget.’
FACT#2. The first Indian budget was presented in 1860 by Scottish economist and politician James Wilson.
FACT#3. In 2001, the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the timing of the budget to 11 am. Until 2000, the budget was presented on the last working day of February at 5 pm.
FACT#4. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget 2021 speech is the longest budget speech in Indian history. It lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. During this, he broke his record of 2 hours 17 minutes to present the Union Budget 2020. Before him, the record of the longest budget speech was in the name of the late Arun Jaitley. His 2014 budget speech was 2 hours and 10 minutes long.
FACT#5. Moraji Desai presented the maximum number of budgets during his tenure as the Finance Minister; between 1962-69, he presented 10 budgets.
FACT#6. On 5 July 2019, Nirmala Sitharaman became the second woman after former PM of India Indira Gandhi to present the budget.
FACT#7. A Halwa ceremony is held in the Ministry of Finance before the budget. It is distributed to the employees.
FACT#8. Till 1955, the Union Budget was presented in English. After that year, the Congress-led government decided to print the budget in both Hindi and English.
FACT#9. India’s first independent budget was presented by RK Shanmukhan Chetty on 26 November 1947.
FACT#10. Railway and general budget were presented separately till 2017, but after that, both were merged into one.
FACT#11. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister to present the budget. He held the portfolio of Finance Minister from 1958–59.
FACT#12. The Union Budget was printed in the Rashtrapati Bhavan till 1950. When it leaked, a government press was set up in North Block in the year 1980.
FACT#13. In 2019, Sitharaman replaced the traditional budget briefcase with a red colored bag.
FACT#14. The budget of 1973-74 is known in India as the ‘Black Budget.’ The budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.
FACT#15. Till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley changed this tradition to 1 February.
FACT#16. The first budget of independent India was presented on 16 November 1947. It was introduced by the country’s first finance minister RK Shanukham Chetty. About 46% of this budget, about Rs 92.74 crore, was allotted for defense services.
FACT#17. It is believed that Prof. Prashant Chandra Mahalanobis conceptualized the budget of independent India did it. He had prepared the concept of the budget for independent India. He was an Indian scientist and statistician. He earned a degree in both Physics and Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in London. He has also been a member of the Planning Commission of India. In recognition of Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis’ remarkable contribution to the field of economic planning and statistics development, the Government of India celebrates his birthday, 29 June, every year as ‘Statistics Day.’
FACT#18. The Union Budget country was leaked before presenting it in the House in 1950. After that, the printing work of the budget was shifted from Rashtrapati Bhavan to a press located on Minto Road. Then from the year 1980, the printing of the budget was done from the government press located in North Block.
FACT#19. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the country’s Prime Minister, presented the budget for the year 1991-92 when he was the Finance Minister in PV Narasimha Rao’s government. This budget is considered the most important budget for the transformation of India. In this budget, the Indian market was opened economically to invite foreign investment. It is believed that the country’s economic prosperity started from here.
FACT#20. The budget presented by the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the financial year 1997-98 is considered the dream budget of the country. Personal tax and corporate tax were reduced to a great extent in this budget.
FACT#21. The budget for the financial year 2000-01 was presented by the then Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha. This is known as the ‘Millennium Budget’ of the country. This was the first budget of the 21st century. The announcements made in this budget brought a revolution in the IT sector of the country.
FACT#22. Due to the Kovid crisis, another important change was made in the budget for the year 2021. This budget was the country’s first ‘paperless budget.’ All copies of it were stored digitally. After that, the budget for 2022 was also paperless. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made another change in the budget. He stopped using briefcases to carry documents related to the budget. Now she is seen carrying documents related to the budget in a bag that looks like a ledger.
FACT#23. A week before the budget presentation, a complete investigation is done, and the officials involved in this process are sent to the printing press of North Block. All of them have to stay there till the budget is printed. They can’t get out of there.
FACT#24. From the beginning of January, the media is kept away from the Ministry of Finance so that no budget-related news can be leaked to the media. During this, the Intelligence Bureau is fully responsible for the security of the Ministry of Finance.
FACT#25. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was the Finance Minister of the country. Then he gave a budget speech that changed the country’s economy. His budget speech in 1991 was 18,650 words, i.e., the longest. After this, the second big budget speech was of Arun Jaitley, who gave a speech of 18,604 words in 1 hour and 49 minutes.