Know Indian Budget History

The appearance of budget

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Right from the day India became independent, the different factors which have been contributing to the progress of our country include many things. But among them, one of the most important events has been the annual budget. Until very recently, we had two budgets. One was the annual budget and the other one was the railway budget. But in the year 2016, the Union Cabinet decided to merge the railway budget with the annual general budget. Thus, it ended the 92 years old tradition of our country. It was in existence since 1924. Now, we are accustomed to listen to the annual budget every year on the first day of February as mentioned in the Article 112 of the Constitution of India.

The annual Budget of India

The annual Indian budget of our country has various importance for the different strata of society of our country India. For businessmen, it holds the importance of being the tool to increase their business as well as profit. Along with that they also hope that their burden of losses decreases in one way or the other. For the middle class of the society, it holds the hope to decrease the burden of taxes along with the rising inflammation. For the government, it brings an opportunity to attract more investment in our country and help those who are already investing in our country.Similarly, there are many more points related to the annual budget, which directly or indirectly have an impact on the overall existence of our country.

But there is also an interesting factor which often goes unnoticed from the eyes of the common people. The point that how the pages containing the annual budget is always carried in a red briefcase. But it has been able to disappear from time to time. The interesting thing to know is that it has been present on the most important date in the financial calendar right from the beginning of independence of our country in 1947. The first finance minister of our country RK Shanmukham Chetty presented the first annual budget of a free India on November 26 in 1947. From that day onwards it has been an integral part of our country.

Expert’s Opinions on Indian Budget

In the year 1860, William Ewart Gladstone, who was the British finance minister at that time appeared with the bougette in front of the world. From the word ‘Bougette’, which is actually French, comes the word ‘budget’. In simple words, it means a leather bag. They used more or less the same bag for a really long time. But in the year 2011, labour minsters James Callaghan and Gordon Brown selected something new. But in our country, there has been times when the finance ministers decided to go for something that didn’t attract much limelight. This happened in the years 1957-58, 1964-65, 1959-64 and 1967-70. Inthe beginning it was TT Krishnamachari and later on it was Morarji Desai. The two of them decided to select a file to carry their budget related paper work.

But there have been cases when the selection of the budget carrier has been quite impressive. First of all, Manmohan Singh carried a briefcase handsomely. Then after him, in 1998, Yashwant Sinha carried over a suitcase protected with belts and buckle. Then ultimately, honourable Pranab Mukherjee carried in a suitcase similar to the one used by Goldstone as described earlier. Finally, P Chidambaram used something classier and which depicted simplicity – bag or pouch made of soft leather.

Comparison with Other Countries

Different countries may have different ways to carry their budget speech. But the important thing is the effect which the budget can have on the households of the country. Sometimes people may get disappointed by the budget, but the long-term effect of the budget of any particular annual budget can be very positive. It can bring about many drastic changes in the overall progress of the country. Young can get more jobs and the existing population may get relief from the burden of unlimited expenses to some extent.


All of this points to one thing that the bag which carries the budget speech sometimes does depict a sense of security and power through its outer appearance. Irrespective of the country this thought can be applicable to many of the nations who have the tradition of using something to carry their budget. Over the years, it has changed its appearance from time to time, but the main purpose that this bag serves is fulfilled irrespective of whatever the critics say about its appearance. At the end of the day, the budget which is to be presented is the most important thing than the bag itself.

By: Raunak Jha

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