New Delhi: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is set to present India's 82nd national budget in the Lok Sabha Thursday that will be the eighth such personal exercise for him -- two short of the record of 10 set by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
Since independence in August 1947, the country has seen a total of 25 ministers hold the finance portfolio. It has also seen 81 budgets -- 65 normal annual budgets, 12 interim budgets and four special-occasion budgetary measures, also called mini-budgets.
Among them, Morarji Desai presented eight normal and two interim budgets, which had taken his tally to a record 10 -- this remains unchallenged so far. Thursday will see Chidambaram equal the eight-budget track record of his predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee, who is now president.
Chidambaram, thus, will surpass Yashwant Sinha, Y.B. Chavan and C.D. Deshmukh who all presented seven budgets each. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the country's fourth finance minister T.T. Krishnamachari have presented six budgets each.
The next in line in terms of number of budgets presented are R. Venkataraman and H.M. Patel with three Budgets each, while Jaswant Singh, V.P. Singh, C. Subramaniam, John Mathai and R.K. Shanmukham Chetty have two each to their credit.
Among those who have presented one budget each all as prime ministers holding additional charge of the finance portfolio are Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi.
These apart, Charan Singh, N.D. Tiwari, Madhu Dandavate, S.B. Chavan and Sachindra Chaudhuri have also presented one budget each.
Among the 25 finance ministers since independence, the tenures of two leaders holding the finance portfolio -- Inder Kumar Gujral and Hemvati Nandan Bahugana -- did not afford them the pleasure of presenting a national budget.