New Delhi, Feb 19: It is time to talk about Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's upcoming big show and to place it in a historical context. To begin with, there is something special about the date on which his next budget will be revealed on February 29.
In the last 60 years, the budget has been presented on February 29 on eight occasions. Morarji Desai presented two of his budgets on February 29 in 1960 and 1968. Others who presented a budget on this day include C D Deshmukh, T T Krishnamachari, Pranab Mukherjee, N D Tiwari, Manmohan Singh and Yashwant Sinha. In this part, most of the budgets were not presented on February 29 because the day fell on a Saturday or a Sunday. At other times, elections forced the postponement of the budget presentation. This February 29, Chidambaram would presenting his seventh full budget - two when the United Front Government was in power and the remaining five under the aegis of United Progressive Alliance Government.
That number will take him to just one away from Morarji Desai, who presented eight budgets. The last six decades have seen 23 Finance Ministers presenting full budgets to the Parliament. Only five among these including Chidambaram have presented more than four budgets, Morarji Desai - eight budgets, CD Deshmukh - six budgets, Manmohan Singh and Yashwant Sinha - both five budgets each.