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The journey of Indian economy: From Black (1973) to Epochal (1991) to Dream Budget (1997)


New Delhi, Feb 1: Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday, February 1, presented the interim budget of 2019. It's an interim budget since the current NDA II government is just a few months away from completing its tenure and the country is set to go to fresh general elections.

The journey of Indian economy: From Black (1973) to Epochal (1991) to Dream Budget (1997)

The Black Budget of 1973

Budgets have been milestones in India's economic history. In 1973-74, the budget that was presented by Yashwantrao B Chavan, who was the Union finance minister from 1970-74, and it was known to be 'Black Budget' because of huge deficit worth Rs 550 crore.

Chavan had allocated Rs 56 crore in this budget for nationalisation - of coal mines, general insurance companies and Indian Copper Corporation. It is said that the move had an adverse impact on the country's coal production and made it highly dependent on imports to meet domestic needs.

The Epochal Budget of 1991

India dumped its four-year journey as a closed economy and took to open up in 1991 and it was Manmohan Singh, the then finance minister, who had presented what is known as the Epochal Budget to mark the beginning of liberalisation.

Working under prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, Singh overhauled the import-export policy and made the country's economy more friendly for global trade. Thanks to this watershed budget, India emerged into one of the fastest growing economies in the subsequent decades.

The Dream Budget: 1997

This budget was presented by P Chidambaram, who was the finance minister of the then United Front government in 1997 and he made big changes to bring down taxes - personal income and corporate.

Chidambaram had reduced the personal I-T rates from 40 to 30 per cent and also slashed corporate tax rates, including ending surcharge and reducing royalty rates. The FII investment was also increased and laid the ground for disinvestment in PSUs. Import duties on many items saw a cut.

One of the biggest long-term impacts of this budget is that it saw a steep rise in I-T collections, from Rs 18,700 crore in 1997 to over Rs 2 lakh crore in 2013. The common people loved this budget.

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