The Government will present its 81st Budget proposals in the history of independent India, when the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, tomorrow reads out his taxation and other economic policies before the Parliament. Individually, Mr Mukherjee will present the Union Budget for the seventh time, the second-highest by any Finance Minister.
The Parliament has so far hosted 80 Budget speeches, including interim and special-situation budgetary proposals, ever since the first Union Budget of independent India was presented by then Finance Minister, R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, on November 26, 1947.
The maximum number of 10 budgets were presented by Morarji Desai, while Mr Mukherjee will tomorrow join the league of Mr P. Chidambaram, Mr Yashwant Sinha, Mr Y. B. Chavan and Mr C. D. Deshmukh, who have presented seven Budgets each in the past.
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the country’s fourth Finance Minister, T. T. Krishnamachari, have presented six Budgets each during their tenures in the Finance Ministry.
Mr Mukherjee has so far presented six annual Budgets, including the budgets for two consecutive financial years, 2010-11 and 2011-12, and an interim budget before that for the fiscal 2009-10. Way back in the early 80s also, Mr Mukherjee had presented three consecutive Budgets.
Among others, R. Venkataraman and H. M. Patel have presented three Budgets each, while Mr Jaswant Singh, V. P. Singh, C. Subramaniam, John Mathai and R. K. Shanmukham Chetty have two Budgets each to their credits.
Besides, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Charan Singh, Mr N. D. Tiwari, Madhu Dandwate, S. B. Chavan and Sachindra Chaudhuri have presented one Budget each.
Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi had presented Budgets in their capacity as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Charan Singh (once) and Morarji Desai (on four occasions) presented Budgets as Deputy PM and Minister of Finance.
So far, the country has seen 64 normal annual Budgets, while there have been 12 interim Budgets and four special-occasion budgetary proposals, also known as mini budgets.
The first such mini-Budget was presented by T. T. Krishnamachari on November 30, 1956, in the form of fresh taxation proposals through Finance Bills, demanded by the prevailing domestic and international economic situation. The step was also required to tackle issues such as rising inflation and dwindling forex reserves at that time.
The second mid-year Budget taxation proposals were also presented by Krishnamachari in August 1965, while the third mini-Budget was presented by Y. B. Chavan in December 1971, wherein he proposed additional measures for mobilisation of resources for defence requirements.
The last mini-Budget proposals in the Parliament was also made by Chavan in July 1974, wherein he made fresh taxation proposals to tackle inflation-related issues after only five months of the regular annual Budget.