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In a first, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman carries Budget documents in four-fold red cloth

File photos of Pranab Mukherjee, Nirmala Sitharaman and P Chidambaram. Photograph:( Agencies )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 05, 2019, 09.59 AM (IST)

India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman breaking from tradition carried the Budget documents in a four-fold red cloth instead of a briefcase as the nation awaited the presentation of the Union Budget in Parliament today.

As per tradition, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called on President Ramnath Kovind before presenting the Union Budget. 

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"It is in Indian tradition. It symbolises our departure from slavery of Western thought. It is not a budget but a 'bahi khata'(ledger)," chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said.

This will be Nirmala Sitharaman's first Budget presentation as the new finance minister under the Modi government which won a second term after a mammoth victory in the general election on May 23rd.

Ahead of the Budget, the Indian stock market opened up 0.29 per cent higher at 40,025.85, the broader NSE Nifty was also up 0.26 per cent at 11,976.

Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the government's Economic Survey on Thursday had forecast that India's GDP could get back up to 7 per cent in the current fiscal but cautioned that it will face challenges.

Market analysts believe the Narendra Modi-led government will boost spending in the current Budget in order to spur growth. 

Story highlights

As per tradition, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called on President Ramnath Kovind before presenting the Union Budget