Budget 2024: ‘Bahi khata’ to paperless, a look at the evolution of budget - Hindustan Times
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Budget 2024: ‘Bahi khata’ to paperless, a look at the evolution of budget

Feb 01, 2024 04:47 AM IST

Budget 2024: Here's a look at the evolution of India's Union Budget since independence

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the interim budget on Thursday at 11am- marking her sixth budget. The budget precedes the Lok Sabha elections 2024 and is therefore interim in nature.

Budget 2024: The bahi khata was replaced by a made in India tab, which Nirmala Sitharaman carried in a bahi khata like cover.
Budget 2024: The bahi khata was replaced by a made in India tab, which Nirmala Sitharaman carried in a bahi khata like cover.

Read more: Budget 2023: Key terms in the budget explained

Here's a look at the evolution of India's Union Budget since independence:

  1. James Wilson, a Scottish economist working with the East India Company, presented India's first interim budget in 1860 during the British era.
  2. In 1947, RK Shanmukham Chetty presented India's inaugural interim budget which addressed critical issues like food grain scarcity, surging imports, and rampant inflation.
  3. Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, in 2001, shifted the announcement time of the Budget from 5:00 pm to 11 am, breaking a colonial tradition.
  4. Till 2016, the Budget used to be presented on the last working day of February.
  5. In 2019, Nirmala Sitharaman changed the visual narrative of the budget, replacing the traditional briefcase with a 'bahi khata'.
  6. The move towards a paperless budget marked a significant technological shift in 2021.
  7. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has delivered the longest budget speech in India's history in 2020- two hours and 42 minutes. The speech, however, fell short of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's word count record.
  8. In 1950, the Union Budget was leaked during Finance Minister John Mathai's tenure.
  9. After 1980, the budget printing process was moved from Rashtrapati Bhawan to Minto Road.
  10. The shift to bilingual presentation occurred in 1955-56, with budgets being printed in both English and Hindi.

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