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Union Budget: 10 Key Numbers To Know

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget on February 1

New Delhi:
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will table the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha on Thursday (February 1). The Union Budget, Ms Sitharaman’s fifth since 2019, is the government’s financial accounts in a financial year (April 1 to March 31).

Following are 10 interesting numbers on Budget history:

  1. 10: The number of Union Budgets presented by Morarji Desai, an unbroken record so far. Desai served as the India’s Finance Minister under Jawaharlal Nehru (1958-1963) and Indira Gandhi (1967-1969). P Chidambaram with nine Budgets between 1996-1998, 2004-2008 and 2012-2014 is a close second, while Pranab Mukherjee (1982-1984 and 2008-2012) who presented eight Budgets is third in the list.

  2. 3: Prime Ministers have presented the Budget in the absence of a regular Finance Minister. Interestingly, all three belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family. Jawaharlal Nehru presented the 1958 Budget after the resignation of TT Krishnamachari. Indira Gandhi presented the 1970 Budget after her Finance Minister, Morarji Desai, resigned in protest against bank nationalisation. Rajiv Gandhi presented the Budget in 1987 after he moved VP Singh to the defence ministry and kept the portfolio temporarily with himself.

  3. 800: The number of words in HM Patel’s Budget speech in 1977. This was the shortest speech given by any finance minister till date. One reason for Patel keeping his speech short was that the Bugdet calculations were made by the previous government and he only had time till March 31, 1977 to take a Vote on Account to fulfil the constitutional requirement.

  4. 18,700: The approximate number of words in Dr Manmohan Singh’s 1991 Budget – the longest ever. The 1991 Budget is also among the most quoted and analysed Budgets in history as it ushered economic liberalisation in the country.

  5. 162: The total number of minutes Sitharaman spoke while presenting the 2020 Budget. This was the longest speech given by any finance minister, surpassing her own record of 137 minutes in 2019. As per reports, before Sitharaman, the record for the longest speech (in terms of duration) was held by Jaswant Singh, who spoke for 135 minutes in 2003.

  6. 1999: The year when the timing of the Union Budget was changed from 5 pm to 11 am. In doing so, the Vajpayee government did away with a colonial practice established to accommodate for the time difference between the UK and India.

  7. 2017: The railway Budget was merged with the general Budget and the Union Budget began to be tabled on the first day of February. The railway Budget ceased to exist separately after a NITI Aayog committee argued that the merger will “facilitate multimodal transport planning between highways, railways and inland waterways.” The date change, on the other hand, was effected in order to provide the government with more time to implement the Budget from April 1.

  8. 3,94,49,09,00,00,000: The amount of money the government of India proposed to spend in the financial year 2022-23. In simple terms, this translates to Rs 39.44 lakh crore. This was an increase of 4.6 per cent over the revised estimate of 2021-22.

  9. 13.3: The total percentage of allocation for the Ministry of Defence in the 2022 Budget. The ministry was allocated a budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore, including Rs 1.19 lakh crore for defence pensions.

  10. 10,40,00,00,00,000: The total education budget crossed Rs 1-lakh crore for the first time in 2022-23. In simple words, the allocation for education stood at Rs 1.04 lakh crore last year. This was 18.5 per cent higher than the revised estimates of 2021-22.

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