10 Intriguing Facts About the Union Budget

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman The interim budget for the financial year 2024-25 is set to be presented on February 1. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Union Budget.

  1. Change in presentation date: Until 2016, the Union Budget was traditionally presented on the last working day of February. However, this has now changed with the presentation date set for February 1.
  2. Historical Time Changes: Until 1999, following the colonial tradition, the Union Budget was announced at 5:00 pm. Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time to 11 am in 2001.
  3. Halwa Ceremony Tradition: A week before the presentation of the Budget, a ‘Halwa Ceremony’ is held where the Finance Minister distributes ‘Halwa’ among the officials of the Ministry, marking the beginning of the ‘lock-in’ period.
  4. Digital transition: Adoption of digital methods has reduced the lock-in period from the previous two weeks to just five days.
  5. Ending the Briefcase Tradition: As of 2018, the tradition of Finance Ministers carrying the Budget in a leather briefcase has been discontinued.
  6. Paperless Budget Innovation: On February 1, 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first paperless budget using a digital tablet.
  7. Two parts of the Union Budget: The Union Budget consists of two parts – the annual financial statement and the Demands for Grants. The annual financial statement summarizes the government’s revenues for the coming year, while the demands for grants outline estimated expenditure.
  8. Parliamentary Procedure: The Finance Minister presents the Union Budget in a speech, which is then discussed and voted on in the Lok Sabha.
  9. mid year review: The ‘Mid-Year Review’ or ‘Half-Annual Report’ provides updates on the financial performance of the government during the financial year.
  10. Presidential Approval Tradition: Before presenting the Union Budget in Parliament, the Finance Minister meets the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan to seek approval, a tradition that has been in place for many years. After the budget speech, the Finance Minister, along with other ministers, engages in discussions with stakeholders.

Important questions related to exam

  1. Till 2016, when was the Union Budget traditionally presented?
  2. What is the significance of ‘Halwa Ceremony’ in the budgetary process?
  3. How did the timing of Union Budget announcement change in 1999 and who initiated this change?
  4. What was the historic change in the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1, 2021?

Please share your feedback in the comments section.

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