The Union Budget of India is the annual budget of the Republic of India. The budget, is presented by means of the Finance bill and the Appropriation bill and has to be passed by both the Houses before it can come into effect from April 1.
India's first Union Budget
The Budget was first introduced in India on 7th April, 1860 from East-India Company to British Crown. The first Indian Budget was presented by James Wilson on February 18, 1869. He was the Finance Member of the Indian Council. In photo: James Wilson (Others)
The budget presented in November 1947 was without any tax proposals and the estimate for total revenues was a mere Rs. 171.15 crore. Fiscal deficit was estimated at Rs. 24.59 crore. In photo: RK Shanmukham Chetty broadcasting on the budget (Others)
RK Shanmukham Chetty was a lawyer, economist, industrialist and politician. He also served as President of India's Central Legislative Assembly from 1933 to 1935 and Diwan of Cochin kingdom from 1935 to 1941. In photo: RK Shanmukham Chetty broadcasting on the first budget of independent India (Others)
Chetty's budgetary speech began with, "I rise to present the first Budget of a free and independent India. This occasion may well be considered a historic one and I count it a rare privilege that it has fallen to me to be the Finance Minister to present this Budget. While I am conscious of the honour that is implied in this position, I am even more conscious of the responsibilities that face the custodian of the finances of India at this critical juncture." In photo: Indian Parliament (AFP)
Chetty's speech ended with, “I would conclude the Speech with an appeal to this House and through the House to the country at large. For the first time in two centuries we have a Government of our own answerable to the people for its actions.” In photo: RK Shanmukham Chetty (Others)
Until the year 1999, the Budget was announced at 5:00 pm on the last working day of the month of February. This practice was inherited from the Colonial Era. It was Mr.Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister of India who changed the ritual by announcing the 2001 Union Budget at 11 am. In photo: Indian Parliamnet (Zee News Network)