Lesser known but interesting trivia about India's Union Budget

22 January 2018, 02:51 PM
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley - File Photo
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley - File Photo

The Union budget for the financial year 2017-2018 is all set to be presented on February 1 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Economic Pundits and financial experts would be having a close eye on this budget as this would be NDA government’s last full-fledged budget before Lok Sabha polls 2019. 

There have been some landmark budgets which have shaped up the course of the Indian economy.

Here are some lesser known yet interesting facts about the Indian Budget - 

1. The first Union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947. Shanmukham Chetty, first Finance Minister of India presented the budget in November 1947 without any tax proposals.

2. C.D. Deshmukh presented the first budget in the first elected Parliament on the basis of adult franchise. C.D. Deshmukh, incidentally the first Indian Governor of the Reserve Bank of India as well, presented an interim budget for 1951-52.

3. The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru presented the budget when he was Union Finance Minister as well in 1958-1959. 

4. Morarji Desai has the unique distinction of being the only finance minister to present the budget 10 times, a record so far. 

5. Indira Gandhi has been the only woman finance minister to present the budget in 1970.

6. Moraji Desai is the only finance minister to present two budgets on his birthday (Feb 29) in the years 1964 and 1968.

7. The budget of 1973-74 is known as the 'Black Budget' as the nation had a deficit of Rs.550 crore.

8. Pranab Mukherjee was the first Rajya Sabha member to hold the Finance portfolio. Mukherjee presented the annual budgets for the financial years 1982-83, 1983–84 and 1984-85.

9. The 1987 budget was presented by Rajiv Gandhi after V.P. Singh quit the government. Rajiv Gandhi introduced the corporate tax in the Indian budget.

10. In 1991-92, Yashwant Sinha and Manmohan Singh presented final and interim budgets respectively. This was the first occasion when the interim and final budgets were presented by two ministers of two different political parties.

11. In 1991, Manmohan Singh introduced the concept of service tax, foreign investment proposals and reduction of peak import duty from 300 percent to 50 percent which paved the way for opening up the economy/ liberalisation in India.

12. In 1996, P.Chidambaram presented the budget without a debate, following constitutional crises during I.K Gujral's prime-ministership. In 1997, he again proposed the 'Dream Budget'.

First Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 02:13 PM
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