Last Updated on Jan 31, 2022 by Manonmayi

1. The word ‘budget’ is derived from ‘Bougette’, French for ‘small bag’.

2. India’s first Union Budget was presented on 18 February 1860 by Scotsman James Wilson. He was the finance member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council of India. James was also the founder of ‘The Economist’ and Chartered Bank, which merged with the Standard Bank in 1969.

3. Considered as the blueprint of the Union Budget, the blue sheet is the starting point of the budget. The blue sheet has key numbers and is top secret. The joint secretary of the budget is the sole custody of it.


4. The first Union Budget of Independent India allocated 46% or Rs. 92.74 cr. of the budget for the defence services department.

5. Currently, the budget documents are printed in the basement of North Block. Prior to that, they were printed at Rashtrapati Bhavan till there was a leak in 1950.

6. The Union Budget is usually presented by the Finance Minister. However, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi were the only Prime Ministers who presented it during their administration.

7. The budget presented in 1973-74 was termed as the Black Budget. It was presented during severe economic stress due to a failed monsoon and the 1971 Bangladesh war. The budget showed a deficit of Rs. 550 cr. and also planned to nationalise coal mines and general insurance companies.

8. The budget briefcase used to be an integral part of the budget day until 2019 when Nirmala Sitharaman abandoned it and embraced the local “bahi khata”. Budget chief William Gladstone had started the tradition in the UK tradition. Apparently, the briefcase housed all his papers detailing his lengthy speeches.

9. The FY 1991-92 budget presented by Manmohan Singh is known as ‘The Epochal Budget’. It marked the economic liberalisation of India and changed the nation forever.

10. The FY 1997-98 is budget presented by P. Chidambaram is known as ‘Dream Budget’ as it proposed to reduce the tax slabs of personal and corporate taxes.

Aradhana Gotur
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