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15 Interesting facts about Indian budget and how it changed in last few decade

Updated: May 17, 2022

The first inde[endent budget of India was presented by RK Shanmukhan Shetty on 26th November 1947. Indian Budget is the largest budget in the world. The budget is prepared by the concerned department of economic affairs of the Ministry of Finance on an annual basis. A fiscal year begins in April and ends in March. Here are some unknown facts about the union budget.

  1. The word budget is derived from 'bougette' which means small bag in French.

  2. The first-ever Indian budget was presented by James Wilson, a Scottish economist and politician in 1860.

  3. In 2001, the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed it to 11 am. Until 2000, the budget was presented at 5 pm on the last working day of February.

  4. Arun Jaitley delivered the longest budget speech-- 2.5 hours-- in 2014.

  5. Moraji Desai presented the maximum number of budgets (10) between 1962-69 during his stint as finance minister.

  6. On July 5, 2019, Sitharaman became the second woman to present the budget after former Indian PM Indira Gandhi in 1970-71.

  7. Ahead of the budget, a halwa ceremony is held in the ministry of finance. The traditional dessert is distributed to the staff of the ministry.

  8. Until 1955, the union budget was presented in English. After that year, the Congress-led government decided to print the budget in both Hindi and English.

  9. The first independent budget of India was presented by RK Shanmukhan Chetty on November 26, 1947.

  10. Railway and union budgets were presented separately till 2017 after which they merged into a single presentation.

  11. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister to present the budget. He held the Finance Minister portfolio from 1958 to 59.

  12. The Indian Union Budget was printed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan until 1950 when it got leaked and was forced to move to a press at the Minto Road in New Delhi. A government press was set up in the North Block in the year 1980.

  13. In 2019, Sitharaman ditched the traditional Budget briefcase, instead, she carried a red packet with the National Emblem wrapped with a ribbon.

  14. The 1973-74 budget is known as the ‘Black Budget’ in India. The budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.

  15. Till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley changed the tradition to February 1.

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