6 Amazing Questions on Indian Budget You Never Knew

The Union Budget of India, which is known also as the ‘Annual financial statement’ in the Article 112 of the Indian Constitution. The first Union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha are the only two leaders who presented the Union Budget of India 5 times consecutively.
Jan 31, 2019 12:36 IST
Budget in India

Article 112 of the Indian constitution has the provision of Union Budget. Union Budget keeps the account of the government's finances for the fiscal year that runs from 1st April to 31st March. When expenditure of the government equals its revenue; it is called balanced budget but when expenditure exceeds the revenue it is called deficit budget.

You would be surprised to know that most of the Union budgets of India are deficit budgets. Generally Union budget of India is presented at the end of the February month but now this trend had changed and Union Budget is presented on 1st Feb.  Former Finance Minister Morarji Desai presented the budget ten times, the most by any Finance Minister.

In this article we answered 6 amazing questions based on the Indian budget. These questions are known to very few people.

Question.1. If Hindi is our national language, why is the budget in Parliament presented in English?

Ans. As we know that hindi is not our national language; it is one of many official languages. There are 22 official languages used by the states, including English, Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit and Urdu. Every Indian state is free to use its own official language. But in parliament most of the Members of Parliament are comfortable with English as they come from different states and have different native languages but English is known to almost everyone.

You must have seen politicians sitting in the parliament bearing an earphone. Actually this earphone has the ability to translate the language from English to hindi and vice-versa. This is also wrong information that the budget is not made in hindi language, actually it is made in hindi as well.

jaitley presenting budget

Image source:The Caravan

2. How many budgets are presented in the Parliament?

Ans. So far, India has seen 88th union budget presentation out of which 70 are normal annual budgets, 13 interim budgets and four special- occasion budgetary proposals, also known as mini budgets. The first mini-budget was presented by T. T. Krishnamachari on November 30, 1956. The upcoming union budget of 2019 will be 89th union budget.

The first Finance Minister of independent India was R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, who served as independent India's first finance minister from 1947 to 1949.

(T. T. Krishnamachari going to present first Mini Union Budget)

T T Krishnamachari

3. While going to present the budget in the parliament, what does Finance Minister carry in that briefcase?

Ans. The tradition to bring a red coloured bag to present budget started around 1860, when William Ewart Gladstone was the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Great Britain. He was notorious for presenting very long budget speeches which lasted 5 to 6 hours. Since such long budget speeches required lots of files & documents, he felt the need of a box to organize and carry them to the parliament (House of Commons). That is why a red coloured leather box (briefcase) called the “Budget Box” was presented to him by the Queen for this purpose.

Finance Ministers

Image source:Guruprasad's Portal

4. Why Indian budget is always made Budget of deficit?

Ans.  As we know that India is a welfare state. Here government always wanted to increase the welfare of the peoples. Indian government doesn’t have abundant money to launch welfare schemes and good infrastructure. When the government expenditure exceeds its revenue, deficit is created in the economy through printing more currency and borrowing from other countries.

As we know that India has fiscal deficit of 3.9% in the financial year 2016 and it is expected that it will come down to 3% in the financial year 2019. So lack of revenue of the central government is the basic reason behind the formation of deficit budget.

fiscal deficit 2018

image source:ibef

5. Why Budget is called Union Budget?

Ans. India is a Union of states. In any federation there are two main entities, federal states and the center. India has stronger center with less stronger federal states. The center is called as Union in our constitution. And the budget of the union is called “Union budget”.

6. Why are the budgets presented in the Parliament read out from a paper?

Ans. As of now Government of India is not thinking to present digital Budget, might be due to some security reasons. So budget is printed on white paper with black ink for more visual clarity. It is worthy to mention here that Uttrakhand is the first Indian state which presented digital budget.

Important Glossary Related to Budget

Union Budget of India: Definition and different types