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Until 1955, Union Budget Was Only Printed In English. Then This Happened


Until 1955, the Union Budget was exclusively printed in English.

New Delhi:

The preparation of the Union Budget is a lengthy exercise that spans several months. The presentation of the Budget is a crucial event that shapes the economic trajectory of the nation and carries forward the government’s welfare programmes. The history of the budgetary process in India is quite interesting. The first Union Budget was presented by then Finance Minister R K Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947. The Budget has evolved over the years since then.

Until 1955, the Union Budget was exclusively printed in English. A change occurred during the 1955-56 Budget when Finance Minister CD Deshmukh initiated the practice of printing the Budget documents in both English and Hindi. 

CD Deshmukh, an accomplished economist and civil servant, made other notable contributions during his tenure as the Finance Minister. He played a vital role in creating India’s first Five-Year Plans, laying down the framework for industrial growth and infrastructure development.

Mr Deshmukh also emphasised balanced Budgets, ensuring government spending matched available resources, and preventing excessive borrowing. He helped establish the Reserve Bank of India as a strong, independent authority, introducing reforms to strengthen the financial sector.

Here are some interesting facts about the Union Budget:

–  Until 2016, India had a separate Railway Budget presented a few days before the Union Budget. It was later merged with the Union Budget to streamline the process.

–   Morarji Desai holds the record for presenting 10 budgets, the highest by any Finance Minister in India.

– The budget presentation time was changed from 5 pm to 11 am in 2001 by then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.

–  In 1973–74, Yashwantrao B. Chavan presented the Budget during the tenure of Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister. It became known as the “Black Budget” because the fiscal deficit for that year was Rs 550 crore.

– On February 1, 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first-ever paperless budget, using a digital tablet enclosed in a traditional ‘bahi-khata‘ style pouch. 

– The longest budget speech in India’s history was delivered by Nirmala Sitharaman in 2020, lasting over 2 hours 42 minutes.

– In 2005, India introduced Gender Budgeting, aiming to focus on the needs of women and promoting gender equality.



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