Important Facts To Know About Past Union Budgets

Important Facts To Know About Past Union Budgets
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Budget for financial year 2020-21 on February 1, 2020. The official preparation of Budget started on Monday with customary Halwa ceremony. Officials of the Finance Ministry, who are involved in the preparation of Budget documents move to the basement of North Block and remain cut off from their families for around 10 days. This is done to prevent any leaks before the annual Budget is presented. Union Budget is preceded by the presentation of Economic Survey by the Chief Economic Advisor. This year, Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India, Krishnamurthy Subramanian will present the Economic Survey on January 31.

Here are the important facts to know about the past Union Budgets:

  1. The first Budget of Independent India was presented on November 26, 1947, by the then Finance Minister RK Sanmukham Chetty under the government of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, according to data available on Department of Economic Affairs' website -

  2. The Budget statement presented by Mr Chetty covered a period of seven and half months from August 15, 1947 to March 31, 1948, according to Department of Economic Affairs' website.

  3. The first Budget of independent India targeted budget revenue of Rs 171.15 crore.

  4. Former Finance Minister Morarji Desai has presented the annual Budget 10 times - the highest number of Budget presentations by a finance minister in India.

  5. He is followed by P Chidambaram - who has presented 9 Budgets - and Pranab Mukherjee (eight).

  6. KC Neogy, who only held office for 35 days, is the only finance minister not to have presented a Budget.

  7. Until 1999, the Union Budget was announced at 5 pm on the last working day of February.

  8. In 1999, then finance minister Yashwant Sinha changed this tradition by announcing the Union Budget at 11 am.

  9. Till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, however, changed that tradition in 2017. In 2017, the Union Budget was presented on February 1. Till 2016, the Railway Budget was presented few days before the Union budget. In 2017, however, the railway budget was presented along with the Union Budget - a shift from a 92-year-old practice.

  10. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman became the second woman to present the Union Budget after Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance returned to power in May last year. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first and only woman to have presented the Union Budget. In 1970, she presented the Union Budget of India for 1970-71, after she took over the finance portfolio following the resignation of Morarji Desai as finance minister. Breaking away from the brown Budget briefcase, Ms Sitharaman held a red folder, a bahi khata.