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Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Last updated on: February 1, 2010 18:28 IST

The month of February is upon us. Everybody looks forward to this month. But what is so special about this month?

Valentine's Day of course -- and Budget.

Budget is an annual exercise undertaken by the government that keeps everyone, whether rich or poor, on their toes. Click on NEXT for informations about Budget that you may not be aware of...

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Image: The Indian Parliament.

From where has the term 'Budget' come?

The term Budget is derived from bowgette in the Middle English. The term bowgette in turn was derived from the Middle French word bougette. It is an abbreviated form of bouge, which means a leather bag. . . .

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Image: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

When was the first Budget presented?

Nowadays, the Budget is presented in the month of February. But are you aware it was not always so?

The first budget of independent India was presented by the then  first Finance Minister R K Shanmugham Chetty on November 26, 1947.

It was designed on the lines of the Bombay Plan of 1944, which was jointly written by John Mathai, G D Birla & JRD Tata. This budget was simply an overview of the country's financial situation and did not include any major financial initiatives. . . .

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Image: Inset: T T Krishnamachari.
When was the Budget presented in Hindi? 

In 1950-51 Budget, the then finance minister John Mathai announced the creation of the Planning Commission. But he subsequently resigned as he considered  that the Planning Commission was turning into a super Cabinet.

Then came C D Deshmukh, who was not only the first Governor of RBI but also the finance minister. He first introduced the budget in Hindi in 1955-56.

He was succeeded by T T Krishnamachari, who found that the computations in Deshmukh's Budget had gone haywire. He highlighted the altered economic condition and the necessity of levying new taxes even though his Budget was not yet presented. . . .

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Image: Morarji Desai.
Who presented the highest number of Budgets? 

After some years, he resigned owing to irreconcilable differences with Jawaharlal Nehru and the Budget of 1958-59 by Nehru himself. This was quite a momentous event as till then it was the finance minister's job to present the Budget.

Morarji Desai holds the record for presenting the highest number of Budgets - a total of 10. Of these eight were annual ones and two were interim ones.

He also had the honour of presenting the budgets in 1964 and 1968 on February 29, which happened to be his birthday. He had two stints, one as a finance minister and another as a deputy minister.  . . .

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Initially the budgets concentrated on agriculture 

In between his two stints, T T Krishnamachari was again elected as the finance minister. He was responsible for introducing voluntary disclosure scheme that would enable people to disclose their hidden wealth. It was supposed to be one time measure but has become a permanent fixture today.

During the initial years, the budgets concentrated mostly on agriculture.

But subsequently they started focusing on other sectors such as industries, finances services etc. right from 50s till 1985, the focus was on public finances like savings, taxes, inflation, etc. . . .

Some interesting Budget snippets for you

Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

But when Dr. Manmohan Singh took over as finance minister, the focus shifted to liberalisation and making India a global economic power. He started the process of divestment and it is continuing even today.

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