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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Digital transition: Adoption of digital methods has reduced the lock-in period from the previous two weeks to just five days.
- Ending the Briefcase Tradition: As of 2018, the tradition of Finance Ministers carrying the Budget in a leather briefcase has been discontinued.
- Paperless Budget Innovation: On February 1, 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first paperless budget using a digital tablet.
- 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.
- Parliamentary Procedure: The Finance Minister presents the Union Budget in a speech, which is then discussed and voted on in the Lok Sabha.
- mid year review: The ‘Mid-Year Review’ or ‘Half-Annual Report’ provides updates on the financial performance of the government during the financial year.
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
- Till 2016, when was the Union Budget traditionally presented?
- What is the significance of ‘Halwa Ceremony’ in the budgetary process?
- How did the timing of Union Budget announcement change in 1999 and who initiated this change?
- What was the historic change in the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1, 2021?
Please share your feedback in the comments section.