Budget: Govt’s attempt to ‘bag’ the people

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Budget: Govt’s attempt to ‘bag’ the people

Generally we used the word budget as an amount of money that can be spent on something or to plan how much one will spend money in the future period. That means it is a rough estimate of future expenditure considering one’s income. Again the word ‘Budget’ originally means a ‘pouch’. English got the word from Old French bougette, which was a diminutive form of bouge ‘leather bag’ (from which we get bulge). This came from Latin bulga, which may have been of Gaulish origin (medieval Irish bolg ‘bag’ has been compared). This word’s financial connotations arose in the 18th century, the original notion being that the government minister concerned with treasury affairs opened his budget, or wallet, to reveal what fiscal measures he had in mind.

The budget of a government is a summary or plan of the intended revenues and expenditures of that government. The institution of the annual account of the budget evolved into practice during the first half of the 18th century and had become well established by the 1760s; George Grenville introduced the Stamp Act in his 1764 budget speech to the House of Commons of Great Britain.

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Again, Union Budget of India, referred to as the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Constitution of India, is the annual budget of the Republic of India, presented each year on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister of India in Parliament. The budget, which is presented by means of the Financial Bill and the Appropriation bill has to be passed by the House before it can come into effect on April 1, the start of India’s financial year.

While a ‘Vote on Account’ budget deals only with the expenditure side of the government’s budget, an Interim Budget is a complete set of accounts, including both expenditure and receipts. An Interim Budget gives the complete financial statement, very similar to a full Budget. While the law does not debar the Union government from introducing tax changes, normally during an election year, successive governments have avoided making any major changes in income tax laws during an Interim Budget.

The budget is prepared by Finance Minister with assisstance of a number of advisors and bureaucrats. For preparing budget FM usually takes views from industialists , trade unions and economists.

In budget proposal three different types of figures relating to receipts and expenditures are given- i.e. Budget Estimate, Revised Estimate and actual.

Until the year 2000, the Union Budget was announced at 5:00 pm. This practice was inherited from the Colonial Era, when the British Parliament would pass the budget in the noon followed by India in the evening of the day. It was Mr.Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister of India in the NDA government (led by BJP) of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who changed the ritual by announcing the 2001 Union Budget at 11 am.

In India Budget was first introduced on 7 April 1860 by East India Company to British Crown. Then James Wilson, the first finance member presented that budget.

After Independence, R K Shanmukham Chetty presented the first budget in independent India on 26 Nov 1947. That budget was for the period of 15 Aug 1947 to 31March1948. But John Mathai presented first budget in Republic of India on 28 Feb 1950.

Morarji Desai has presented highest number of budget ( including interim budget). Out of his 10 budget, he presented it on his birthday twice i.e. 29 Feb 1964 and 29 Feb 1968.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are the only prime Ministers to present the union budget.

While Morarji desai, Charan Singh , V P Singh and Monmohun Singh were the Finance minister who in their later life become Prime Minister.

Indira Gandhi is the only Female minister who had presented Budget.

R Vekataraman and Pranab Mukherjee are the Finance Ministers Who in their later life became the President of India.

The Budget of 1973-74 is known as ‘Black Budget’ as that year’s budget deficit was 550 crore. On the other hand P Chidambaram presented budget in the year 1997-98 termed as ‘Dream Budget’ as that budget presented a road map for economic reforms in India and included lowering income tax rates, removal of the surcharge on corporate taxes, and reduced corporate tax rates.

After getting power in May 2014 ,Arun Jetley Finance Minister of Narendra Modi led govt. placed his general budget in July last year. On 28 Feb he will present his full budget of 2015.

A report by Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay.

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