Indian Budgets- a quick recapFebruary 1, 2021
Budget is one of the crucial and most awaited events, not only for the citizens but also for the government. Be it farmers, working-class, big corporates or small enterprises, every section of society waits patiently for their turn in the budget. Today our finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman presented her third budget as a finance minister. Before we tell you about the current one let’s take a look at some of the previous ones that made history, along with a few quick common questions.
What is the Union Budget?
The Union Budget is an exercise carried out by the central government every year. The government makes an estimate of revenue and expenses for the forthcoming financial year. The exercise is similar to the monthly budget making one does for our household expenditure and earnings.
When is the Budget presented?
Date of Budget presentation has varied throughout the history of Independent India. Since 2017, the Union Budget has usually been presented on the first of February, every year. Before that, it used to be presented on the last day of February.
Who presents the Budget?
The Union Budget is presented by the Finance Minister. The last budget was presented by Nirmala Sitharaman. She will also present the next Budget on February 1, 2020.
When was India’s first Budget presented?
The first Union Budget of Independent India was presented by RK Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947. It was a review of the economy and no new taxes were proposed.
From when do Budget proposals take effect?
Proposals made in the Budget, if passed by Parliament, take effect from April 1 of every year, which is when the financial year starts. They are valid till March 31 of the next year
Here are some of the interesting events of Indian Budget
Longest Indian budget
There was a cut-to-cut timing difference between Sitharaman’s 2019-20 speech and Jaswant Singh 2003-04 speech. Jaswant Singh presented for 2.12 hours and Sitharaman presented for 2.15 hours with a mild disruption by the opposition
The first post-Emergency and Interim Budget was presented by Hirubhai Patel in 1977 with the shortest speech in Independent India
Dream Budget was announced by Chidambaram in 1997-98 with a personal income tax rate from 40 per cent to 30 per cent and cut in corporation tax rates
Most Budgets presented
Moraji Desai who was FM from 1959-1964 and 1967-1969 staggered 10 Budgets. He presented eight Budgets and two interim ones. He was one of the top former PM. On the spot of nine Budget, P Chidambaram won the spot following Pranab Mukherjee with eight, Yashwant Sinha, Yashwantrao Chavan and CD Deshmukh with seven and Manmohan Singh and TT Krishnamachari presented six Budgets.
Change of time
After general elections in 1999, Sinha again became the Finance Minister and presented four annual budgets from 1999-2000 to 2002-2003. Due to elections in May 2004, an interim budget was presented by Jaswant Singh. He, in 2001, changed the timing of the Budget presentation from 5 pm to 11 am. Following years, Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram presented the Union Budget under UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments.
Change of date, Railway Budget merger
Under the Narendra Modi government, the Union Budget was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who in the year 2017 announced two important decisions; first, merging Railway Budget with the Union Budget and second advancing the Budget presentation from the last day of February to the first day of February. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2018 on February 1.
Historic Budget of liberalisation
ND Tiwari presented the budget for 1988-89, SB Chavan for 1989-90, while Madhu Dandawate presented the Union budget for 1990-91. The interim Budget of 1992-1993, presented by Manmohan Singh after an election was forced, became one of the historically important Budget as he announced reducing import duty from over 300% to 50%, paving way for liberalisation. Manmohan Singh, in his Budget speech, said, “It is said that child is the father of the man, but some of our taxpayers have converted children into tax shelters for their fathers.” Following year, Manmohan Singh introduced Service Tax.
After elections in 1996, a non-Congress ministry assumed office. Hence the financial budget for 1996-97 was presented by P. Chidambaram, who then belonged to Tamil Maanila Congress. After the general elections in March 1998 that led to the Bharatiya Janata Party forming the Central Government, Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister in this government, presented the interim and final budgets for 1998-99.
Black Budget, Corporate Tax
The 1973-74 India Budget became the ‘Black Budget’ in India as that year the fiscal deficit of the country was Rs 550 crore. Pranab Mukherjee, the first Rajya Sabha member to hold the Finance portfolio, presented the annual budgets for the financial years 1982-83, 1983–84 and 1984-85. Then, Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-89, after VP Singh quit his government, and in the process became the third Prime Minister to present a budget after his mother and grandfather. It was Rajiv Gandhi who introduced the Corporate tax (known as Minimum Alternate Tax) in 1987-88 Budget.
First female Budget presented by a woman
After Morarji Desai resigned, Indira Gandhi who was the Prime Minister, also took over the portfolio of the finance minister and became the first woman to present the Indian Budget in 1970-71. In 1964-65, TT Krishnamachari introduced voluntary disclosure of concealed income scheme in India for the first time. The next Budget followed first disclosure scheme for black money.
Budgets & Birthdays
Morarji Desai in 1959-61 and 1963-64 presented by the Union Budgets, including an interim budget 1962-63. By this time, the presentation of the Budget had moved to the last day of February but continued with 5 pm time slot. Interestingly, Morarji Desai got to present two Budgets on his birthday, on February 29 in 1964 and 1968. Morarji Desai presented budgets that included five annual budgets and an interim budget during his first stint and three final budgets and one interim budget in his second tenure when he was both the Finance Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of India.
India is the land of rituals; that’s why should the Indian Parliament be any different? Halwa Ceremony is a ceremony which precedes the printing of the budget documents. In the said ceremony Halwa which is a sweet dessert is prepared and served to the officers and staff of the ministry who are involved in the preparation and printing of the budget documents. The Halwa ceremony is attended by the Finance Minister himself who also serves the dessert to his officers and staff.