18 fascinating facts about the Union Budget

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to present the first budget post demonetisation on February 1. The advance budget date has been marred with controversies ever since it was announced. However, after clearing legal hurdles, the Union government is all set to present its budget for 2017-18.

18 fascinating facts about the Union Budget

The 2017-18 budget will be inclusive of all sectors including railways. This time around, no separate budget for railways will be presented. A demonetised India is looking for tax respite out of this budget. Here we give you some interesting budget facts apart from the ones you may or may not know.

The President of India fixes the date for presentation of budget. The Union budget for India has two parts. Part A deals with general economic survey, and taxation policies are presented in part B.

Employees printing the Budget papers are kept in complete isolation in the finance ministry for one week before the Budget.

The Budget was first introduced in India on April, 7, 1860 from the East-India Company to the British Crown by Finance Member James Wilson of the Indian Council.

C D Deshmukh, the first Indian governor of the Reserve Bank of India as well as the finance minister, presented an interim budget for 1951-52.

Jawaharlal Lal Nehru was the first prime minister to present the Budget when he held the Union finance minister portfolio in 1958-59.

Morarji Desai has presented the maximum number of budgets so far --10. Desai was also the only finance minister to present two budgets on his birthday -- in 1964 and 1968 on February 29.

Indira Gandhi was the only woman finance minister who took over the portfolio from 1970 to 1971.

1947 is not only the year of India's Independence but was also the year when the first Union budget was presented. Independent India's first budget was presented by R K Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947, while first budget for the Republic of India was presented by John Mathai on February 28, 1950.

Budget papers that were first prepared in English started being prepared in Hindi from 1955-56.

The first disclosure scheme for black money was introduced in the 1965-66 budgets. This becomes more relevant given that 2017-18 budget would be the first post the 2016 demonetisation move.

Thanks to the budget deficit of Rs 550 crore, the budget of 1973-74 is known as the 'Black Budget' in India.

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh introduced 5 per cent service tax in the 1994-95 budget after declaring that the sector was contributing 40 per cent of India's GDP.

Current President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the 1982 budget as the then finance minister. His budget presentation lasted 95 minutes. This prompted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to say 'the shortest finance minister has delivered the longest budget speech'.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-88 after V P Singh quit his government. Introduction of corporate tax to the Indian disapora is credited to him.

For the first time, two ministers of two different parties presented interim and final budgets in 1991-92. Yashwant Sinha (BJP) presented the interim budget while Manmohan Singh presented the final budget.

Did you know that Yashwanth Sinha has the distinction of maximum rollbacks in the Union Budget that was presented in 2002? His 1991 Budget was in the backdrop of the forex crisis while his 1999 Budget was in backdrop of Pokhran blasts.

The 2000 Budget was presented by Sinha in the backdrop of the Kargil war, while the 2001 Budget was presented in the backdrop of the devastating Gujarat earthquake.

Following The colonial era, Budget was earlier presented at 5 pm on the last working day. While the British Parliament would pass the budget at noon, India would follow suit in the evening but Sinha put an end to this practice. The Union Budget is presented at 11 am since then.

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