Budget Trivia: Lesser known facts about Union Budget of India
Budget 2017-18 is going to be special as the government is breaking away from the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his fourth Union Budget on February 1 for the financial year 2017-18.
The word budget is derived from 'bougette' which means small bag in French as we have seen time and again our respective finance ministers holding 'budget bag' for photo-op.
We have compiled some budget trivia, some of which you may not be aware of.
1) The budget was first introduced in India on 7 April, 1860 by the East-India Company to the British Crown by then finance minister, James Wilson presented the budget in 1860.'
2) Independent India's first Union Budget was presented by R.K.Shanmukham Chetty on Nov 26, 1947
3) The first Budget of the Republic of India was presented by John Mathai on February 28, 1950
4) Budget papers began to be prepared in Hindi also from 1955-56
5) The 1965-66 budgets contained the first disclosure scheme for black money
6) Budget of 1973-74 is known as the ‘Black Budget’ in India. During this year, budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.
7) In Budget 1994-95, Dr. Manmohan Singh introduced Service Tax at the rate of 5 per cent as the sector was contributing 40 per cent of GDP.
8) Budget 1982 was presented by then Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. He delivered a 95-minute long speech prompting former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to say “the shortest Finance minister has delivered the longest budget speech.”
9) Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-88 after V P Singh quit his government. He introduced corporate tax to the Indian disapora.
10) It was the first occassion in independent India that the interim and final budgets of 1991-92 were presented by two ministers of two different political parties. Yashwant Sinha presented the interim budget while Manmohan Singh presented the final budget.
11) Yashwant Sinha has the distinction for maximum rollbacks in the Union Budget that was presented in 2002. Yashwant Sinha's 1991 Budget was in backdrop of the forex crisis. His 1999 Budget was in backdrop of Pokhran blasts. The 2000 Budget was presented by Sinha in the backdrop of the Kargil war, while the 2001 Budget was presented in the backdrop of the devastating Gujarat earthquake.
13) Earlier, Budget was presented at 5 pm on the last working day, inherited from colonial era. While the British Parliament would pass the budget at noon, India would follow suit in the evening. The practice was put to end in 2001 by Yashwant Sinha, and the Union Budget is presented at 11 am since then.