Union budget of India

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

The Union Budget of India, also referred to as the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Constitution of India,[1] is the annual budget of the Republic of India. The Government presents it on the first day of February so that it could be materialised before the beginning of new financial year in April. Until 2016 it was presented on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister in Parliament. The budget division of the department of economic affairs (DEA) in the finance ministry is the nodal body responsible for producing the budget.[2] It is presented by means of the Finance bill and the Appropriation bill has to be passed by Lok Sabha before it can come into effect on 1 April, the start of India's financial year.

An interim budget is not the same as a 'Vote on Account'. While a 'Vote on Account' deals only with the expenditure side of the government's budget. An interim budget is a complete set of accounts, including both expenditure and receipts. An interim budget gives the complete financial statement, very similar to a full budget. While the law does not disqualify the Union government from introducing tax changes, normally during an election year, successive governments have avoided making any major changes in income tax laws during an interim budget.[3]

Since 1947, there have been a total of 73 annual budgets, 14 interim budgets and four special budgets, or mini-budgets.[4][5]

Finance ministers who have presented the budget[edit]


Morarji Desai has presented 10 budgets which is the highest count followed by P Chidambaram's 9 and Pranab Mukherjee's 8. Yashwant Sinha, Yashwantrao Chavan and C.D. Deshmukh have presented 7 budgets each while Manmohan Singh and T.T. Krishnamachari have presented 6 budgets.[4]


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from: 1948 till: 1950 color:INC text:"John Mathai" fontsize:10
from: 1950 till: 1956 color:INC text:"C. D. Deshmukh (1)"  fontsize:10
from: 1956 till: 1957 color:INC text:"Jawaharlal Nehru"  fontsize:10
from: 1957 till: 1958 color:INC text:"T. T. Krishnamachari"  fontsize:10 
from: 1958 till: 1959 color:INC text:"Jawaharlal Nehru"  fontsize:10
from: 1959 till: 1964 color:INC text:"Morarji Desai (2)" fontsize:10
from: 1964 till: 1966 color:INC text:"T. T. Krishnamachari"  fontsize:10
from: 1966 till: 1967 color:INC text:"Sachindra Chaudhuri"  fontsize:10
from: 1967 till: 1970 color:INC text:"Morarji Desai (2)" fontsize:10 
from: 1970 till: 1971 color:INC text:"Indira Gandhi " fontsize:10 
from: 1971 till: 1975 color:INC text:"Y. Chavan" fontsize:10 
from: 1975 till: 1977 color:INC text:"C. Subramaniam" fontsize:10
from: 1977 till: 1979 color:INC text:"Hirubhai M. Patel" fontsize:10 
from: 1979 till: 1980 color:JP text:"Charan Singh" fontsize:10
from: 1980 till: 1982 color:INC text:"R. Venkataraman" fontsize:10
from: 1982 till: 1985 color:INC text:"Pranab Mukherjee" fontsize:10
from: 1985 till: 1987 color:INC text:"V. P. Singh" fontsize:10
from: 1987 till: 1988 color:INC text:"Rajiv Gandhi" fontsize:10
from: 1988 till: 1989 color:INC text:"N.D.Tiwari" fontsize:10
from: 1989 till: 1990 color:INC text:"Shankarrao Chavan" fontsize:10
from: 1990 till: 1991 color:idp text:"Madhu Dandavate" fontsize:10
from: 1991 till: 1996 color:INC text:"Manmohan Singh" fontsize:10
from: 1996 till: 1998 color:idp text:"Chidambaram" fontsize:10
from: 1998 till: 2002 color:BJP text:"Y. Sinha" fontsize:10
from: 2002 till: 2004 color:BJP text:"Jaswant Singh" fontsize:10
from: 2004 till: 2008 color:INC text:"Chidambaram" fontsize:10
from: 2008 till: 2012 color:INC text:"Pranab Mukherjee" fontsize:10
from: 2012 till: 2014 color:INC text:"Chidambaram" fontsize:10
from: 2014 till: 2019 color:BJP text:"Jaitley" fontsize:10
from: 2019 till: 2022 color:BJP text:"Sitharaman" fontsize:10

</timeline> Notes:
1During Deshmukh's tenure the Budget papers were prepared in Hindi as well for the first time.[6]
2Morarji Desai presented eight annual and two interim budgets.


The first union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on 26 November 1947. Total revenues stood at ₹171.15 crore, and the fiscal deficit was ₹24.59 crore. The total expenditure was estimated at ₹197.29 crore with Defence expenditure at ₹92.74 crore.

The union budgets for the fiscal years 1959–61 to 1963–64, inclusive of the interim budget for 1962–63, were presented by Morarji Desai. On 29 February in 1964 and 1968, he became the only finance minister to present the Union budget on his birthday.[7] Desai presented budgets that included five annual budgets and an interim budget during his first term and three final budgets and one interim budget in his second tenure when he was both the Finance Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of India. After Desai's resignation, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, took over the Ministry of Finance to become the first woman to hold the post of the Finance Minister.

Hirubhai M. Patel, presented the shortest budget speech for the interim budget of 1977, which was mere 800 words long.[8] Pranab Mukherjee, the first Rajya Sabha member to hold the Finance portfolio[clarification needed], presented the annual budgets for the financial years 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85. Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987–89, after V. P. Singh quit his government, and in the process became the third Prime Minister to present a budget after his mother and grandfather. N. D. Tiwari presented the budget for 1988–89, S. B. Chavan for 1989–90, while Madhu Dandawate presented the Union budget for 1990–91. Dr. Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister and presented the interim budget for 1991-92 as elections were forced. Due to political developments, early elections were held in May 1991 following which the Indian National Congress returned to political power and Manmohan Singh, the Finance Minister, presented the budget for 1991–92.


Manmohan Singh under P. V. Narasimha Rao, in his next annual budgets from 1992 to 1993, opened the economy,[9] encouraged foreign investments and reduced peak import duty from 300 plus percent to 50 percent. After elections in 1996, a non-Congress ministry assumed office. Hence the financial budget for 1996-97 was presented by P. Chidambaram, who then belonged to Tamil Maanila Congress. Following a constitutional crisis when the I. K. Gujral Ministry was on its way out, a special session of Parliament was convened just to pass Chidambaram's 1997-98 budget. This budget was passed without a debate. After the general elections in March 1998 that led to the Bharatiya Janata Party forming the Central Government, Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister in this government, presented the interim and final budgets for 1998–99. After general elections in 1999, Sinha again became the Finance Minister and presented four annual budgets from 1999–2000 to 2002–2003. Due to elections in May 2004, an interim budget was presented by Jaswant Singh.

The Union Budget of India for 2012–2013 was presented by Pranab Mukherjee, on 16 March 2012, which was the 7th budget of his career. These budgetary proposals would be applicable for financial year 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. The Union Budget of India for 2013–2014 was presented by P. Chidambaram on 28 February 2013. The Interim Union Budget for 2014–2015 was presented on 17 February 2014.[10] The Union Budget of India for 2014–2019 was presented by Arun Jaitley.[11][12] The Interim Union Budget for 2019–2020 was presented by Piyush Goyal.[13] The Union Budget for 2019–2021 was presented by Nirmala Sitharaman.[14][15]


Another tradition is the pre-budget speech of the President.[16] In picture the President being led in a ceremonial procession to the Central Hall of the Parliament to address the Budget Session, 2005.

Time of budget announcement[edit]

Until the year 1999, the Union Budget was announced at 5:00 pm on the last working day of the month of February. This practice was inherited from the colonial era. Actual agenda behind this tradition was that, it gives Britishers the time of 11:30 am, a relax time at their location. This clearly shows their colonial era mindset they had left on Indian politicians.Another reason was that until the 1990s, all that budgets seem to do was to raise taxes, a presentation in the evening gave producers and the tax collecting agencies the night to work out the change in prices. It was Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister of India in the NDA government (led by Bharatiya Janata Party) under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who changed the ritual by announcing the 1999 Union Budget at 11 am.[17] The tradition started from 2001.

Date of budget announcement[edit]

Also again in 2016, departing from the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February, Minister of Finance (India) Arun Jaitley, in the NDA government (led by Bharatiya Janata Party) of Narendra Modi announced that it will now be presented on 1 February.[18] Additionally Rail Budget, presented separately for 92 Years, merged with union budget.[19]

Halwa ceremony and budget briefcase[edit]

The printing of budget documents starts roughly one week ahead of presenting in the Parliament with a customary 'Halwa ceremony' in which halwa (a sweet dish) is prepared in large quantities and served to the officers and support staff involved. They remain isolated and stay in the North Block office until the Budget is presented. The halwa is served by the Finance Minister. This ceremony is performed as a part of the Indian tradition of having something sweet before starting an important work.However in 2022 the tradition of halwa making was not followed and the status of it is unclear in future [20]

Until 2018, as a part of tradition, Finance ministers carried the budget in a leather briefcase. The tradition was established by the first Finance minister of India, R. K. Shanmukham Chetty. On 5 July 2019, Nirmala Sitharaman, broke this tradition by carrying the budget in a Bahi-Khata.[21]

Change in Bahi Khata[edit]

On 1 February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first paperless budget. This was done due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in India.[22][23]

With this move, 'bahi khata' (a ledger wrapped in red cloth) has been completely removed from this year. It is also considered a move to strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Digital India mission.

See also[edit]


  1. "Procedure in Financial Matters" (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice (India). p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  2. "How does government prepare its Union Budget every year". The Times of India. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  3. "2019 Union Budget of India". money.bhaskar.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Padmanabhan, Arvind (12 February 2014). "Chidambaram is second only to Morarji Desai in presenting Budget". Business Today. Retrieved 29 September 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Previous Union Budgets | Union Budget of India". www.indiabudget.gov.in. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Finance Ministers of India: Budget through the years: The men who made India". The Economic Times. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "The Central Budgets in retrospect". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  8. "Budget 2020: Who gave the longest Budget speech?". Deccan Herald. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  9. "Meet Manmohan Singh, the economist". 20 May 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
  10. "Salient Features of Interim Union Budget of India for 2014-15". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  11. "Union Budget 2018 Highlights: Key takeaways from Arun Jaitley's fifth Budget". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  12. "Expectation from union budget 2014-15". Patrika Group. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  13. "Budget 2019: Full text of Piyush Goyal's budget speech". Mint. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  14. "india budget" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  15. "Key Highlights of Union Budget 2019-20". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  16. Joy, Shemin (3 February 2021). "16 Rajya Sabha MPs move 118 amendments to President Ram Nath Kovind's Budget session address". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 3 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Budget with a difference". 17 March 2001. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  18. "Union Budget 2017 on 1 Feb: End of a colonial hangover for speedy implementation of schemes". Firstpost.com. Firstpost. 16 November 2016.
  19. Chakraborty, Abhishek (21 September 2016). "Railway Budget, Presented For 92 Years, Merged With Union Budget". NDTV. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  20. "Printing Of Union Budget Document Begins With 'Halwa' Ceremony". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  21. Ghosh, Deepshika (5 July 2019). "Bahi Khata, Not Briefcase. Nirmala Sitharaman Ends British-Era Tradition". NDTV.com. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  22. "In a first, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to present budget 2021 in paperless form". Hindustan Times. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  23. "'Made in India' tablet replaces 'bahi-khata' as Budget 2021 goes digital". Business Standard India. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Template:National government budgets

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