Edited by: Namit Singh Sengar
Last updated: January 29, 2023, 3:01 PM IST
Union budget 2023-24: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the 2023 budget on February 1. The final process has already begun with the Halwa ceremony on January 26.
However, why is the date of 1 February set for the presentation of the budget in parliament?
The first budget of independent India was presented on 26 November 1947 by the then Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty. From the last second month of the year to the second month of a calendar year, let’s look at the journey of the current budget, which will be unveiled before lawmakers on February 1, 2023.
Budget 2023: History
Until 1999, the Union’s budget was presented at 5 p.m. on the last working day of February, as was customary in the colonial era.
This practice had been around since the British period and followed due to a time difference between New Delhi and Westminster, United Kingdom.
The Indian time zone (GMT +05:30) is 4.5 hours ahead of UK summer time.
In 1999, then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the timing of budget presentation to 11:00 am. However, the day was kept the same.
Also Read: Shortest, Longest, Most Iconic: Interesting facts about budget speeches through the years
The idea behind this was reportedly that the change over time would allow for better analysis of numbers and announcements and spark more informed debate and discussion.
Why was 1 February chosen as Prinsjesdag?
Deviating from the colonial-era tradition of using the last working day of February, the former Treasury Secretary, the late Arun Jaitley, began presenting the Union’s budget on February 1, 2017. Since then, it has been submitted on the first day of the month.
The separate railway budget was also merged with the Union budget in 2017. The separate budget for railways was presented separately for 92 years before 2017.
Bringing forward the general budget will help improve government spending and implement tax proposals from the very beginning of the fiscal year on April 1, Jaitley had said in 2016 when the government was considering changing the date of the budget.
“You approve the budget and financial account sometime in May. You start imposing the tax policy from June… you free up the money for different projects. In June, the monsoon starts and eventually the expenses start after the monsoon ends in October. So you wasted half the year.” MOT Jaitley had quoted.
In addition, the 2021-2022 Union budget has been delivered paperless. A Union Budget mobile app is also available for hassle-free access to the document.
Budget 2023: where to watch live streaming of the Union budget
Read all the latest business news here