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Union Budget: Interesting Facts and Figures Every Indian Must Know

Here's all you need to know about the history and facts behind the Union Budget.

Chintu Das
Union Budget
Union Budget

On February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will submit her fourth consecutive Union Budget, which will include financial statements and tax proposals for fiscal year 2022-23. (April 2022 to March 2023). 

Here are a few budget facts:- 

The First Budget of India 

On April 7, 1860, Scottish economist and politician James Wilson of the East India Company presented the Budget to the British Crown for the first time in India. 

RK Shanmukham Chetty, India's first Finance Minister, delivered the country's first budget on November 26, 1947. 

Budget Speech With The Longest Time 

When she presented the Union Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020, Sitharaman set a new record for the longest speech, speaking for 2 hours and 42 minutes. She had to stop her speech short with two pages left because she was feeling nauseous. She urged the Speaker to consider the remaining part of the speech as read. 

During this speech, she beat her own record of 2 hours and 17 minutes, which she set in July 2019 during her first Budget. 

Budget Speech With The Most Words 

In 1991, under the Narasimha Rao government, Manmohan Singh gave the longest Budget speech in terms of words, with 18,650 words. 

Arun Jaitley, the then-finance minister, gave the second-longest speech in terms of word count in 2018, with 18,604 words. Jaitley gave a speech that lasted 1 hour and 49 minutes. 

Shortest Budget Speech  

In 1977 Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel, the then finance minister, spoke for only 800 words. 

The Greatest Number Of Budgets 

Former Prime Minister Moraraji Desai holds the record for the most budgets presented in the country's history. During his tenure as finance minister from 1962 to 1969, he delivered 10 budgets, followed by P Chidambaram (9), Pranab Mukherjee (8), Yashwant Sinha (8), and Manmohan Singh (6). 

Time 

The Union Budget was delivered at 5 p.m. on the final working day of February until 1999, as was customary in the British era. In 1999, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha altered the time of the budget presentation to 11 a.m. 

In 2017, Arun Jaitley began presenting the Union Budget on February 1, breaking with the colonial tradition of presenting it on the final working day of the month. 

Language 

The Union Budget was delivered in English until 1955. The Congress-led administration, on the other hand, eventually opted to print the Budget documents in Hindi and English. 

Paperless 

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the Budget for 2021-22 was made paperless for the first time in Independent India. 

The Very First Woman 

After Indira Gandhi, who delivered the budget for the fiscal year 1970-71, Sitharaman became the second woman to present the budget in 2019. 

That year, instead of carrying the typical budget briefcase, Sitharaman carried the speech and other papers in a traditional 'bahi-khata' with the National Emblem. 

Budget For Railways 

The railway budget and the Union Budget were submitted separately until 2017. The railway budget was combined into the Union Budget in 2017 and presented concurrently after being presented separately for 92 years. 

Classic Budgets 

Millennium Budget 

In 2000, Yashwant Sinha's Millennium Budget provided the groundwork for the expansion of India's Information Technology (IT) industry, phasing out software export incentives and lowering customs duties on 21 products such as computers and computer equipment. 

Rollback Budget 

The Rollback Budget refers to Yashwant Sinha's 2002-03 budget for the NDA administration led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in which various measures were cancelled or rolled back. 

Once-in-a-Century Budget 

Nirmala Sitharaman announced the 'once-in-a-century budget' on February 1, 2021, with the goal of reviving Asia's third-largest economy through infrastructure and healthcare investments, as well as an aggressive privatisation drive and strong tax collections. 

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