The Budget talk
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting the 2018-19 Union Budget on February 1. This will be Jaitley’s fifth Budget in a row. As the country prepares for the current government’s last full Budget, here are some interesting finds from the past that will leave you intrigued.
When was GST mentioned first in the Budget?
Goods and Services Tax made its debut in the Budget speech of P Chidambaram on February 28, 2006. The idea of having a single unified tax regime was first suggested by Chidambaram under the UPA-II regime.
The 90s word
The word infrastructure wasn’t talked about for the first 30 years. It became a topic of discussion only in the 1990s.
Silence around women
Gender is rather a recent concern as far as the Union Budget is concerned. In fact, the word women did not find frequent mention in Budget speeches until the 80s.
The ‘Black Budget’
Budget of 1973-74 is known as the ‘Black Budget’ in India. During this year, budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.
Nehru introduced the ‘gift’ tax in 1958-59 Budget to make tax evasion more difficult and tax distribution more equitable. The tax was levied on donors on the value of all gifts made by them during a year.
When did digital become the buzz word?
The word digital was used for the first time in 1982-83 and it was mentioned only once. Interestingly, the same word was used 7 times in 2016-17.
The birthday Budget
Morarji Desai is the only FM to have presented the Budget on his birthday. Desai has actually done this for two consecutive Budgets in 1964 and 1968. Both were presented on a leap year, and on February 29.
When Shakespeare was quoted in the House
“I must be cruel to be kind,” said the then-FM Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget speech in 2012. He was quoting the 16th century lengendary playwright William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Mukherjee was talking about tough policy decisions that were required for the good of economy in the long run.