Union Budget 2019: A Look Back At India's Historic Budgets

Union Budget 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget on Friday in the Parliament, in which, even before the speech began, she had departed from tradition in a number of ways

Written By Shloak Prabhu | Mumbai | Updated On:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union budget on Friday in the Parliament, in which, even before the speech began, she had departed from tradition in a number of ways. The first independent woman Finance Minister to present the budget also eschewed the traditional budget briefcase in favour of a red folio, and also didn't cut the budget ribbon, choosing to untie it instead. Squarely by behest of this, whatever she goes on to do in the speech, she has ensured that her budget will already go down in history. Here's the list of some others it'll be joining.

Budget of 1947:

This was Independant India's first ever budget under the then Finance Minister, R.K Shanmukham Chetty. Chetty had estimated the total expenditure for the year to be Rs.197.39 crore, with Rs. 92.74 crore was set aside for the defence sector. However, the budget was burdened because of the rehabilitation of refugees bearing the brunt of partition and coping up with the food crisis.  

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Budget of 1991:

The 'Epochal Budget' of 1991 was tabled by Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. At the time, India was stained with 'Balance of Payment Crisis' which means that the country was unable to balance the financial accounts as exports were greater than imports. Back then, the Narasimha Rao led-government launched LPG- Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation. In which, the government revamped the import-export policy of the country by scrapping import licensing. A window was opened for foreign investments to instigate capital, technology and global markets.

Budget of 1997:

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented a 'Dream Budget' for the United Front government which was a coalation of around 13 parties. In order to curb black money, 'Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme' was introduced along with an additional scheme which aimed at broadening the tax net. Tax collections escalated from Rs. 18,700 crore in 1997 to over Rs. 2 lakh crore in 2013. 

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Budget of 2000:

The 'Millennium Budget' as it was termed was announced during the BJP government rule back in 2000. It was induced to make the country a software IT hub, as the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said in his speech that the objective of this budget was to, "strengthen our role in the world economy through rapid growth of exports, higher foreign investment and prudent external debt management." There was a cutdown on items like computers, motherboards, floppy disks, microprocessors for computers, memory storage devices.  

Budget of 2018:

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley structured the 2018 budget with an aim to strengthen rural economy and agriculture, providing healthcare for the economically underprivileged, infrastructure development and provision of improved quality of education. The 2018 budget's highlight was the Ayushman Bharat Yojana scheme. Jaitley had said that the Government has ensured that benefits reach eligible beneficiaries and are delivered to them directly. He also brought up the Direct Benefit Transfer mechanism of India which turned out to be the biggest exercise in the world.

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On Friday Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget. One of the key takeaways from the 2019 budget was Sitharaman's announcement of Scheme For 'Har Ghar Jal' By 2024 which will be looked after by the newly formed Jal Shakthi Mantralaya. 

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