New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will put an end to the suspense on union budget for the fiscal year 2020-21, on Saturday, February 1, 2020. This will be the first full-time budget presented by Sitharaman before the parliament.
Various sectors across the nation such as railways, jobs, infrastructure, farming, education, aviation, etc. have a lot of expectations from the Union Budget for FY21, especially after a slew of recent interventions, including the slashing of the corporate tax.
To bring the economy back on the normal track, the upcoming union budget should ensure sufficient funds are allocated to each sector.
The concerned department of economic affairs of the Ministry of Finance prepares the budget on a yearly basis. A fiscal year begins in April and will conclude in the month of March.
Here are some of the interesting and lesser known facts about the union budget of India.
- Budget is derived from ‘bougette’ which refers to a small bag in French.
- James Wilson, a Scottish economist and politician in 1860 had presented the first ever Indian budget.
- Until 2000, the budget was presented at 5 PM on the last working day of February however, in 2001, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed it to 11 AM.
- In 2014, Arun Jaitley delivered the longest budget speech of 2.5 hours duration.
- Moraji Desai presented the maximum number of budgets that counts 10 between 1962-69 during his stint as finance minister.
- On July 5, 2019, Nirmala Sitharaman became India’s second woman to present the budget after former PM Indira Gandhi in 1970-71.
- Ahead of the budget, a halwa (traditional dessert) ceremony is conducted in the ministry of finance.
- Till 1955, the union budget was delivered in English. Afterwards, the Congress-led government decided to print the budget in both Hindi and English.
- The first independent budget of India was presented by RK Shanmukhan Chetty on November 26, 1947.
- Railway and union budget were presented separately till 2017 but later they merged.
- Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister to present the budget. He held the Finance Minister portfolio in 1958-59.
- Until 1950, the Indian Union Budget was printed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan but when it got leaked it was forced to move to a press at the Minto Road in New Delhi. A government press was established in the North Block in the year 1980.
- In India, from 1973-74 the budget is known as the ‘Black Budget’. The budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.
- In 2019, Sitharaman ditched the traditional Budget briefcase and carried a red packet with the National Emblem wrapped with a ribbon.
- Till 2016, the Union Budget was read on the last working day of February month however, the Former finance minister Arun Jaitley changed the tradition to February 1.