Union Budget 2021: Scottish economist James Wilson presented India's first budget; 8 facts about annual financial statement
While it is Nirmala Sitharaman’s third budget, the record of the maximum number of budget presentations is held by Moraji Desai
The Union Budget 2021 is going to be presented by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February. It is the third time Sitharaman will be presenting the budget after being appointed as the finance minister and people would be looking forward to seeing how the government plans the budget given the much-needed upheaval from all the losses incurred due to the pandemic in the last year.
Earlier, the ‘Halwa Ceremony’ was organised at the finance ministry and it marked the beginning of the compilation of budget documents.
The symbolic event on Saturday (24 January) saw Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and other senior officials of the finance ministry in attendance. Although the annual ceremony was observed, there will be no printing of the budget this year due to the COVID-19 situation. As per reports, it will be distributed electronically to the Members of Parliament (MPs) instead.
Ahead of the budget presentation, here are some of the fewer known facts:
While it is Sitharaman’s third budget, the record of the maximum number of budget presentations is held by Moraji Desai, closely followed by P Chidambaram with eight.
Indira Gandhi was the first woman to present the budget in 1970-71. She had taken over the duties of the finance minister along with being the prime minister.
Till 1955, the budget was presented only in one language – English. It was during the 1955-56 session that the budget documents started to be printed in both English and Hindi.
Another first was the 1967-68 budget as it was presented by a deputy prime minister. Moraji Desai held that post along with being the finance minister.
The first Indian budget to be presented was in fact done by a Scottish economist, James Wilson.
The first budget after India gained independence was on 26 November, 1947. It was presented by the then finance minister, RK Shanmukham Chetty.
The norm of presenting the budget on 1 February was started only recently, in 2017, with Arun Jaitley. Before that it was presented in the Lok Sabha on the last day of February.
It was also in 2017 that the Rail Budget was merged with the Union Budget.
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