Union Budget 2023 Trivia and Most Important Facts
On February 1, Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, will give her fifth budget, which includes financial data and tax plans for the coming fiscal year 2023–24. The budget gains significance because it will be the government's final full-year budget before the union elections in 2024. According to a Foreign Brokerage Report, the upcoming budget is anticipated to achieve the desired 6.4% fiscal deficit and plan for a 50 basis point reduction in the same for the following fiscal year.
Here are some of the Trivia about the budget:
- India's First Budget: The first budget in India was introduced by Scottish economist and politician James Wilson from the East India Company on April 7, 1860. The first budget for independent India was given on November 26, 1947, by R K Shanmukham Chetty, who was the finance minister at the time.
- Longest Budget Speech: Nirmala Sitharaman, the current finance minister, set the record for giving the longest speech on February 1, 2020, when she presented the Union Budget for 2020–21. She spoke for two hours and forty-two minutes. She had to end her speech after two pages 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.
- Most Used Words in the Budget: In 1991, during the Narasimha Rao government, Manmohan Singh gave the longest budget speech in terms of words, clocking in at 18,650 words. Arun Jaitley, who was the finance minister at the time, delivered the second-longest speech of 2018 in terms of word count, with 18,604 words. For one hour and 49 minutes, Jaitley talked.
- Shortest Budget Speech: Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel, the finance minister, spoke for just 800 words in 1977. The former prime minister Moraraji Desai holds the record for submitting the most budget proposals in the nation's history. During his tenure as finance minister from 1962 to 1969, he presented 10 budgets, followed by P Chidambaram (9), Pranab Mukherjee (8), Yashwant Sinha (8), and Manmohan Singh (8). (6).
- Budget Timings: The Union Budget was delivered at 5pm on the last working day of February up until 1999, following the practices from the British era. The timing of the budget presentation was altered to 11 am in 1999 by the late Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister. In contrast to the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the final working day of the month, Arun Jaitley began doing it on February 1 in 2017.
- Budget Language: The Union Budget was delivered in English up until 1955. But the Congress-led administration ultimately chose to print the Budget documents in both Hindi and English.
- Paperless Budget: Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the budget for 2021–22 was made entirely digital—a first for Independent India.
- First Woman Budget: After Indira Gandhi, who did so for the fiscal year 1970–1971, Sitharaman presented the budget in 2019 to become the second woman to do so.
Instead of using the customary budget briefcase that year, Sitharaman carried the speech and other documents in a traditional 'bahi-khata' embroidered with the national anthem.
- Railway Budget: The Union Budget and the Railway Budget were each presented separately until 2017. The Railway budget was combined into the Union Budget in 2017 and presented concurrently after being presented separately for 92 years.
- Printing of the budget: Up until 1950, printing of the budget took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan, but due to a leak, the location of printing had to be changed to a press on Minto Road in New Delhi. A government press was established in the North Block, which houses the finance ministry, in 1980.
Along with these, there are several other Trivia about the Budget which we will be highlighting in the next article. So, keep a tab and keep watching this space to know more.
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