Why FM Nirmala Sitharaman Will Present Budget on Feb 1?

Edited By: Namit Singh Sengar

Last Updated: January 29, 2023, 15:01 IST

FM Nirmala Sitharaman before Budget 2022.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman before Budget 2022.

Budget 2023: Not just date, the separate railway budget was merged in the Union Budget in 2017.

Union Budget 2023-24: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget 2023 on February 1. The final process has already begun with the Halwa ceremony on January 26.

However, why February 1 date is fixed for the purpose of Budget presentation in the Parliament?

The first Budget of Independent India was presented on November 26, 1947 by the then Finance Minister R K Shanmukham Chetty. From the last second month of the year to the second month of a calendar year, let’s look at the journey of the present day Budget, which will be unveiled before the lawmakers in the on February 1, 2023.

Budget 2023: History

Until 1999, the Union Budget was presented at 5 pm on the last working day of February as per colonial era practice.

This practice existed since the British period, and followed due to a time difference between New Delhi and Westminster, United Kingdom.

The Indian time (GMT +05:30) zone is 4.5 hours ahead of British Summer Time.

However, in 1999, the then finance minister Yashwant Sinha changed the Budget presentation timing to 11 am. However, the day was maintained the same.

Also Read: Shortest, Longest, Most Iconic: Interesting Facts About Budget Speeches Over the Years

Reportedly, the idea behind this was that the change in time would enable better analysis of numbers and announcements and would give rise to a more informed debate and discussion.

Why was February 1 chosen as Budget day?

Departing from the colonial-era tradition of using the last working day of February, former finance minister late Arun Jaitley started presenting the Union Budget on February 1 from 2017. Since then it is tabled on the first day of the month.

Also, the separate railway Budget was merged in the Union Budget in 2017. The separate Budget for railways was being presented separately for 92 years before 2017.

The advancing of the general Budget will help improve public spending and implement tax proposals from the very start of the financial year on April 1, Jaitley had said in 2016 when the government was mulling to change the date of the Budget.

“You pass the Budget and the Finance Bill sometime in May. You start imposing the taxation policies from June…you release the money for various projects. In June, the monsoon sets in and finally, the expenditure starts after the monsoon ends in October. So, you wasted half the year,” news agency PTI had quoted Jaitley as saying.

Moreover, from 2021-22, the Union Budget has been delivered in paperless form. A Union Budget Mobile App is also available for hassle-free access to the document.

Budget 2023: Where To Watch Live Streaming Of Union Budget

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