Budget 2021: Who was the man behind India's first-ever Budget in 1860?
New Delhi, Feb 01: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented the Union Budget 2021 on Monday. The Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance is responsible for producing the Union Budget.
The man who created India's first-ever budget
Remembered as James Wilson, the popular economist introduced the first Budget of India in 1860.
Wilson, Scotsman, was also the founder of the global giant Standard Chartered Bank and business magazine 'The Economist'.
Born in Hawick, a small border town in Scotland in 1805, Wilson first came to India on November 28, 1859, and he was appointed finance member in Viceroy Lord Canning's council in undivided India.
The British government, which was ruling India at the time, was reeling under a huge financial crisis.
Increased military expenditure had drained the government's resources, leaving with with huge debts.
Wilson's financial budget helped the British government review its expenditures.
He was also a Member of the British Parliament, besides being Finance Secretary to the UK Treasury and Vice-President of the Board of Trade.
Wilson also introduced the income tax act which was vehemently opposed by Zamindars and therefore, it gave birth to a huge controversy.
His argument was that because the British government provided Indians a safe environment for trade, they were justified in charging a fee in the form of an income tax.
In terms of ideology, he was a liberal and strong proponent of the policy of laissez-faire. He also argued against imperialism and stated that the colonies would still be valuable to the British government if they were independent.
He, however, did believe in the idea of the white man's burden - basically the essence of colonialism - saying that "uncivilised races" were owed "guidance, guardianship and teaching".