Fascinating facts about the union budget from 1947-2023

Budget was introduced for the first time in India on April7, 1860, by the East India company to the British Crown. The first budget for the union of India was presented on November 26, 1947 , by the first finance minister RK Shanukham Chetty but actually, it was a review of the economy and no new taxes were proposed. Nearly half of this (46 percent ) or 92.74 crore was allocated for defence service department.

Till 1955 , the Budget was presented only in English however from 1955-1956 , the Budget documents are printed both in English and Hindi. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister to present the Union Budget in 1958-1959. Other than him , Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were the only PM’s to have presented the Union Budget in their respective terms. Morarji Desai, the former finance minister of India, has presented the budget a record 20 times. Indira Gandhi was the first woman to present the Budget for 1970-1971. 

Budget presented in the year 1973-74 was known as the ‘Black Budget’ due to high budget deficit of Rs 550 crore at that time. Budget presented by Manmohan Singh in 1991 known as ‘The Epochal Budget’ 

P.chidambaram 1997 -98 budget was termed as ‘Dream Budget’ for lowering tax rates. The budget presented in the year 2000 by Yashwant Sinha is termed as ‘The millenium Budget’ . It is said to have revolutionised India’s Information Technology (IT) sector. 

In 2001 , NDA finance minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time of budget presentation from 5pm to 11 am.  From 2017 , the budget has been presented on February 1 following the changes introduced by the finance minister Arun Jaitley. Also the rail budget was merged with the Union Budget. 

  • Nehru introduced the ‘gift’ tax in 1958-59 Budget to make tax evasion more difficult. 
  • The word infrastructure wasn’t talked about the first 30 years . It became a topic of discussion only in the 1990’s.
  • Goods and services tax made its debut in the Budget speech of P chindambaram on February 28,2006.
  • Prime minister Manmohan  Singh, during his stint as Finance Minister, delivered the longest budget speech in terms of word count in 1991.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the longest budget speech. She spoke for 2.42 hours while presenting the Union Budget 2020.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman   was presented the Budget 2023-24 on February 1. RK Shanmukham Chetty presented the first Union Budget of independent India on November 26, 1947. On February 1, 2021, Sitharaman presented the first paperless budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic. .

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