10 Interesting Facts About The History Of Indian Budget

When Was Income Tax Introduced In Union Budget? Know This And Other Interesting Facts

Budget 2024: Till 1955, the Union Budget was presented only in English.

India’s annual budget presentation is a moment of economic significance, as it unveils a fiscal roadmap for the coming financial year. As the finance minister addresses the country, expectations soar. Union Budget is an important document, as it outlines the government’s financial strategy, priorities and growth aspirations. Tax reforms, infrastructure investments, and social welfare allocations take centerstage, influencing the nation’s economic trajectory. It’s a delicate balance, addressing immediate needs while laying foundations for long-term sustainability. The markets keenly react, industries dissect implications, and citizens await measures impacting their daily lives.

Here are 10 interesting facts about the Union Budget:

  1. India’s first ever budget was presented on April 7, 1860, by Scottish economist James Wilson from the East India Company. It introduced income tax, which is a major source of revenue for the government even now.
  2. After India’s independence, the first budget was presented on November 26, 1947, by R K Shanmukham Chetty, who was the finance minister at the time.
  3. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hold the record for giving the longest budget speech in India’s history. On February 1, 2020, when she presented the Union Budget for 2020-21, Ms Sitharaman spoke for two hours and 42 minutes. Her speech started at 11am and went on till 1:42 pm. Ms Sitharaman had to end her speech with two pages left since she wasn’t feeling well. She requested that the Speaker accept the rest of her remarks as read. She beat her own record for the length of a speech set in July 2019 when she delivered her first budget, speaking for 2 hours and 17 minutes.
  4. However, in terms of words, the record for longest budget speech is held by Manmohan Singh who used 18,604 words while presenting the annual financial document in 1991, during the Narasimha Rao government. Arun Jaitley is second in terms of the number of words used, when he delivered a speech with 18,604 words in 2018. He spoke for one hour and 49 minutes.
  5. Interestingly, the shortest budget speech was presented by Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel, who was the finance minister during the Moraji Desai government in 1977. His speech had just 800 words.
  6. Another interesting record is in the name of former prime minister Moraraji Desai who has submitted the most budget proposals in India’s history. During his tenure as finance minister from 1962 to 1969, he presented 10 budgets, followed by P Chidambaram (9), Pranab Mukherjee (8) and Yashwant Sinha (8).
  7. The Union Budget was presented in Parliament at 5pm on the last working day of February – a practice that continued till 1999. The timing was changed to 11am in 1999 by Yashwant Sinha, finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Arun Jaitley changed the budget presentation date from February 28 to February 1 in 2017.
  8. Till 1955, the Union Budget was presented only in English. But the Congress government decided to print the Budget documents in both Hindi and English.
  9. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the budget for 2021-22 was made entirely digital – a first for Independent India.
  10. After Indira Gandhi, who presented the budget for the fiscal year 1970-1971, Nirmala Sitharaman became the second woman to do so in 2019.

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