Union Budget: Nirmala Sitharaman is the first full-time woman finance minister to present the Budget.
New Delhi: The Union Budget is being presented in the parliament today by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This is the first budget of the re-elected NDA government, which got a landslide victory in the 2019 General Elections under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership. The Union Budget 2019 is likely to cut taxes on business and raise spending in a bid to boost consumption. Ahead of the Union Budget presentation, the Economic Survey was released by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian yesterday. It has predicted a 7 per cent Gross Domestic Product or GDP growth.
Here are some interesting facts on Union Budget:
- Indira Gandhi was the first woman to have presented the Union Budget in the parliament.
- Nirmala Sitharaman is the first full-time woman finance minister to present the Union Budget. She ditched the British-era tradition of bringing the budget papers in briefcase and replaced it by the traditional "bahi khata" (ledger) in keeping with the Indian tradition.
- The longest Budget speech was presented by former finance minister Arun Jaitley in 2014. It was two and a half hours long and included a five-minute break.
- Morarji Desai presented 10 budgets, the highest by an Indian finance minister.
- Till 2000, the Budget was presented at 5 p.m. on the last working day of February. It was only in 2001 that finance minister Yashwant Sinha changed the practice and the budget began to be introduced at 11 a.m.
- Till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley changed the tradition in 2017 when he presented the Budget on February 1 along with the Rail Budget.
- In 2017, the Union Budget was merged with the Rail Budget.
- Before the budget finally goes to print, a ceremony is held in the Ministry of Finance, which is known as 'the halwa ceremony'. Halwa, a traditional dessert, is prepared and distributed to the staff of the ministry.
- The first Indian budget was presented by James Wilson, a Scottish economist and politician. He did so as a 'Finance Member of the India Council'.
- The first Union budget of independent India was presented in 1947 by RK Shanmukham Chetty.
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