Union Budget 2023: 21 Interesting Facts About Indian Budget
Union Budget 2023 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to present the Union Budget 2023 on 1 February 2022, thereby becoming the first woman Finance Minister to present the Budget for the fourth time in a row.
The annual budget of the Republic of India is known as the Union Budget of India, or the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Indian Constitution. To ensure that it is implemented before the start of the new fiscal year in April, the government presents it on the first day of February.
Here are some interesting facts on Union Budget:
1- Derivation of the word Budget: The word Budget has been derived from the French word 'Bougette' which means 'small bag'.
2- Introduction of the word Infrastructure: For the first 30 years, the Budget didn't have the word infrastructure. It was introduced in the Budget in the 1900s.
3- First Union Budget of Colonial India: It was introduced on 7 April 1860 by the East India Company to the British Crown. It was presented by a Scottish Economist and politician James Wilson.
4- First Union Budget of Independent India: It was introduced on 26 November 1947. It was presented by the first Finance Minister R.K. Shanukham Chetty. However, it was a review of the Indian economy and no new taxes were proposed. It is to be noted that almost 46% of the Budget or Rs. 92.74 crores were allocated for the defence services department.
5- Printing of Budget: The Budget was leaked in 1950, following which the government shifted the printing of the budget from Rashtrapati Bhawan to a press at Minto Road. In 1980, it was shifted to a government press in North Block.
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6- Introduction of Hindi: Since 1955-56, the Budget documents are printed both in English and Hindi. Prior to that, the Budget was printed only in English.
7- First Prime Minister to present the Union Budget: Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was the first PM to present the Union Budget for the FY 1958-1959. The Union Budget is usually presented by the Finance Minister. Other than Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were the only Prime Ministers to have presented the Budget during their respective administration.
8- First Woman to present the Union Budget: Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman to present the Union Budget for the FY 1970-71.
9- Maximum Union Budgets by a Minister: Former Finance Minister Moraji Desai presented the Union Budget a record 10 times, followed by former FM P. Chidambaram (9), former FM Pranab Mukherjee (8), former FM Yashwant Sinha (8), and former FM Manmohan Singh (6)
10- Black Budget: For the FY 1973-74, the Budget was presented by the then Finance Minister Yashwantrao B. Chavan and is called as 'Black Budget' due to a high budget deficit of Rs 550 crore-- the maximum until that time. The Budget followed the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and failed during the monsoon season.
11- The Epochal Budget: The Budget presented by the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh for the FY 1991-92 is known as 'The Epochal Budget'-- a budget that changed India forever as it marked the economic liberalization of the nation.
12- Dream Budget: The Budget presented by the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for the FY 1997-98 is known as 'Dream Budget' as it proposed to lower the tax slabs of personal and corporate taxes.
13- The Millenium Budget: The Budget presented by the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha for the FY 2000-01 is known as 'The Millenium Budget'-- a budget that revolutionised India's IT sector.
14- Change in time: In the year 1999, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time for the presentation of the Union Budget from 5 p.m. to 11 a.m.
15- Merging of Budgets and Change in date: In the year 2017, the Rail Budget was merged with the Union Budget. Also, since the said year, the Budget has been presented on 1 February following the changes introduced by the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
16- Gift Tax: Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the Gift Tax in the FY 1958-1959 Budget to make tax evasion more difficult.
17- Goods and Services Tax: On 28 February 2006, Goods and Services Tax was introduced by the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the Budget.
18- Longest Budget speech: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds the record of delivering the longest Budget speech in 2020-- 2 hours and 42 minutes long.
19- Bahi Khata instead of a briefcase: In the year 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replaced the standard Budget briefcase with the traditional 'Bahi Khata' with the National Emblem.
20- Paperless Budget: For the first time in Independent India's history, the Budget for FY 2021-22 is paperless.
21- Second Woman to present the Budget: On 5 July 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman became the second woman to have presented the Budget after former PM Indira Gandhi. She is the first full-time woman Finance Minister of India.
Important Glossary Related to Budget