As Budget day approaches, here are 10 lesser known facts about India’s tradition of presenting the annual financial plan for the country:
1) First finance minister to present a budget in independent India:
RK Shanmugham Chetty. He presented the first Budget on November 26, 1947.
2) The first Rajya Sabha member to present a budget:
Pranab Mukherjee in 1982-83.
3) Finance minister who has presented the maximum number of budgets:
Morarji Desai. He presented eight full and two interim budgets.
4) The year in which finance ministers of two parties presented the budget in the same year:
Yashwant Sinha and Manmohan Singh in 1991. The former presented the interim budget in March and the latter presented the full budget in July.
5) Finance minister who first introduced a scheme for voluntary disclosure of unaccounted or black money:
TT Krishnamachari, in 1965.
6) Finance minister who presented budgets on his birthday:
Morarji Desai — on February 29, 1964 and 1968.
7) The only woman finance minister of India:
8) Finance minister who introduced service tax:
Manmohan Singh in 1994-95.
9) Years in which Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, all Prime Ministers, presented the budgets:
1958-59, 1968-70 and 1986-87 respectively.
10) Finance ministers who have presented six or more budgets
Morarji Desai (10), P Chidambaram (9), Pranab Mukherjee (7) and CD Deshmukh (6)