Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to presents the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.(PTI)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to presents the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.(PTI)

Sitharaman gave longest-ever Budget speech, but had to cut it short

She couldn’t finish the last two pages and had to cut short the speech.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2020 04:44 PM IST

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday broke the record for longest Budget speech by speaking for two hours 40 minutes on the floor of Parliament.

She rose to present the Budget for the coming year at 11 am, and ended her speech an 1:40 pm. But even after speaking for 160 minutes, she couldn’t finish the last two pages and had to cut short the speech.

“There are only two more pages. Sir, I think I will lay the rest of the pages,” said Sitharaman, ending her Budget presentation. A few Members of Parliament (MPs) even rushed to her side.

She was also seen wiping sweat from her forehead.

Sitharaman (60) was offered candies by her ministerial colleagues, but that did not help and she opted to discontinue the speech asking Speaker Om Birla to consider the remaining part of her speech as read.

With this speech, Sitharaman, broke her own record of a two-hour-17-minute-long maiden Budget speech in July 2019.

The Finance Minister later laid budget documents and demand for grants for the next financial year in Rajya Sabha.

The Upper House, which met around 1:30 pm for tabling of budget documents, was adjourned as her speech was still continuing in the Lok Sabha.

The Rajya Sabha met again at 1:55 pm but was again adjourned for 10 minutes as Sitharaman reached late.

When she arrived in the Upper House, many members approached her and were seen asking her well-being.

Sitharaman chose to carry a bahi khata (ledger) wrapped in red-coloured cloth as she arrived to present her second Budget. She wore a yellow sari, two days after the festival of Basant Panchami, to signal spring for Indian consumers with her Budget.

He Budget gave the people a reason to cheer as she announced changes in income tax regime, vowed to make India preferred investment destination and highlighted government’s commitment to education and skill development.

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