Union Budget 2023: Take a Look at the Fascinating History of Indian Budget
History of Union Budget 2023
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget in Parliament on 1 February. This will be the last budget of the Modi government before the 2024 general elections. Do you know what and how much has changed since before independence till now in the budget to be presented in 2023? When was the budget presented for the first time? Where was the budget printed? What was the time of presentation of the budget? When was the Railway Budget merged with the Union Budget? In this article we will try to give you answers to these questions.
First paperless Budget in India
According to British traditions, the Finance Minister used to reach the Parliament to present the budget by keeping the budget document in a brown or red bag. This trend continued till Nirmala Sitharaman took charge in 2019. After the outbreak of Corona in 2020, there was another important change in the budget in 2021 and it became paperless.
Date and Time of Presentation of Budget
Let us tell you that till the year 1999, the time and day of presentation of the Union Budget was fixed. According to the practice of the British era, the Union Budget was presented at five o'clock in the evening on the last day of February. In 1999, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the timing of presenting the budget to 11 am. At the same time, in 2017, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley changed the date of presentation of the budget to February 1.
Merger of Railway Budget in Union Budget
First of all, in 1924, the British started the practice of Railway Budget apart from the Union Budget. From then till 2016, the Railway Budget and the Union Budget were presented separately. In 2017, Arun Jaitley, who was the Finance Minister in the Modi government, discussed merging the Railway Budget with the Union Budget. After this a committee was formed to look into the merger of the budgets. In 2017 itself, Arun Jaitley presented the first combined Union Budget.
Language of Budget
Till 1955, the Union Budget was presented in English only. After this, the Central Government decided to print the budget papers in both Hindi and English.
Budgets are printed in North Block
In the year 1980, the central government decided to set up a printing press in the North Block and since then the budget is printed here. Halwa ceremony is organized before the budget printing. The process of printing the budget starts only after this ceremony.
Place of printing of Budget
Till 1950, the budget was printed in Rashtrapati Bhavan. This year, after the budget was leaked, the place of printing was changed. Then the process of printing the budget started in Minto Road, New Delhi.
First Budget in Indian History
The Indian administration was transferred from the East-India Company to the British Crown on April 7, 1858. Two years later i.e. on April 7, 1860, the budget was presented for the first time. The first finance minister to present the budget was James Wilson.
After this Liaquat Ali Khan, a member of the interim government, presented the budget for 1947-48. Shanmukham Chetty, India's first Finance Minister after the country's independence, presented the first budget of independent India on 26 November 1947.