A few interesting facts about the Indian Union Budget that you should know

Union Budget 2023 will be Sitharaman's fifth budget presentation.

Indian Union Budget

It would be India's Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman's fifth consecutive Union Budget. It is the final full Budget before the 2024 national polls, and the Narendra Modi government looks forward to fiscal consolidation. We bring you a few facts about the union budget ahead of the anticipated Union Budget 2023. Let's dive in! 

The First-Ever Budget

The first-ever Budget of India was in 1860 when James Wilson, the Scottish politician, and economist, presented it to the Crown. He was associated with the East India Company and announced it pre-independence on April 7. After India's independence, the first-ever Budget in India was presented by RK Shanmukham Chetty, the Finance Minister, on November 26, 1947. 

Longest Speech in A Budget

Sitharaman has the record for the longest Budget speech. The four-time presenter presented a speech for two hours and 42 minutes on Union Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020. She had to cut short her speech and had two pages remaining. Interestingly, Sitharaman held the previous record as well, with two hours and 17 minutes. 

The Wordiest Union Budget Speech

Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister, was known to be a man of few words. However, he delivered an 18,650-word Budget speech as the Finance Minister in 1991. The second-wordiest speech came from Arun Jaitley, who spoke 18,604 words in one hour and 49 minutes. 

Shortest Union Budget Speech

Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel delivered a Union Budget speech in 1977 when he spoke 800 words. 

The Most Budgets Presented 

Morarji Desai, the Former Prime Minister, holds the record for the most Union Budgets presented. He was the Finance Minister and presented ten budgets from 1962 to 1969. The next in line are P Chidambaram with nine and Pranab Mukherjee with eight. Manmohan Singh is the last on the list with four, and Sitharaman will overtake him with the fifth. 

Budget Facts

  1. British era saw the Union Budget be presented on February's last working day at 5 pm until 1999. However, Yashwant Sinha, the former Finance Minister, changed the presentation to start at 11 am. Arun Jaitley started presenting it on February 1. 
  2. The Union Budget was earlier presented only in English till 1955. However, the Congress government started printing the Union Budget papers in Hindi and English. It has gone through many changes and has become paperless with the pandemic.
  3. Sitharaman is the second woman after Indira Gandhi to present the Budget. Indira Gandhi presented it in 1970-1971.  
  4. The Union and Railway budgets were presented separately till 2017. However, the two were merged after 92 years in 2017. 
  5. The Budget had been printed in Rashtrapati Bhavan, but it leaked and was shifted to New Delhi's Minto Road. 

Iconic Budgets

Here are a couple of the most iconic budgets: 

Millenium Budget

The Millenium Budget of 2000 laid India's IT growth road map, phasing out software export incentives and lowering customs duty on items like a computer and accessories. 

Rollback Budget

The NDA government's 2002-2003 Budget had many proposals rolled back or withdrawn. Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed it. 

These are a few of the most interesting Union Budget facts. We wait for the next Union Budget and hope it makes the people happy and the Indian economy soars. 


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