The Union Budget of 2014-15 cheered a large set of people. It managed to deliver a clear roadmap for the Indian economy in the years to come. Considering the paucity in time, given that the Modi Government just come to power, the finance minster still managed to address important issues of inflation, growth, infrastructure, housing, manufacturing, investments and also proposed on coming up with new initiatives for the real estate sector, insurance sector and the “aam admi”, without going overboard.
Let us have a look at some of the finer points from the Union Budget:
Finance Minster, Arun Jaitley’s speech started at sharp 11:00 am, ended at 13:13 pm. This is one of the longest budget speeches in the recent past that lasted for almost 135 minutes. The minister sounded confident and optimistic throughout, barring a few fumbles here and there that were insignificant. After 45 minutes of delivering his speech, the minister was granted a five minute break from the speaker. Well, we thought there was half time only for the World Cup. In the second half, he continued his speech while being seated. Their motto was loud and clear--Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas. “We shall leave no stone unturned in creating a vibrant and strong India,” said the FM.
The mood looked positive, with everyone paying close heed to the FM speech. However, some murmuring from the opposition was witnessed on many occasions. The minster stopped the opposition by asking them to wait nearly thrice.
There was ruckus and mockery from the opposition on the issue of the FM cleaning the Ganga river and setting up the Namami Gange”
The minster was applauded by his team of ministers on many occasions.
Elaborating on many important developments, the minster was seen having sips of water at regular intervals. The minister must have consumed nearly three glasses of water.
The minister mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee’s name twice.
At the end of the session, some of the ministers were seen yawning; some were seen stretching their arms, and some dozing off.
Seated in the front row, dressed in a maroon saree, Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi, looked stern. After having appeared to have dozed off in the Lok Sabha yesterday, Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi who was seated in one of the rows behind initially, joined Sonia Gandhi after the short break. He was seen resting his fist on his chin at regular intervals.
History of Union Budget in India
The first Union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1949.
The Union budgets for the fiscal years 1959-61 to 1963-64, inclusive of the interim budget for 1962-63, were presented by Morarji Desai. He has presented ten budgets till date. These included five annual and one interim budget during his first stint and three final and one interim in the second tenure when he was both Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
After Desai resigned, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, took over the Ministry of Finance to become the only woman to hold the post of the finance minister.
Pranab Mukherjee, the first Rajya Sabha member to hold the Finance portfolio, presented the annual budgets for 1982-83, 1983–84 and 1984-85.
Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-89 after V P Singh quit his government, and in the process became only the third Prime Minister to present a budget after his mother and grandfather.
N. D. Tiwary presented the budget for 1988-89, S B Chavan for 1989-90, while Madhu Dandawate presented the Union budget for 1990-91.
Dr. Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister but presented the interim budget for 1991-92 as elections were forced.
Due to political developments, early elections were held in May 1991 following which the Indian National Congress returned to political power and Manmohan Singh, the Finance Minister, presented the budget for 1991-92 and 1992-93.
After elections in 1996, a non-Congress ministry assumed office. Hence the final budget for 1996-97 was presented by P. Chidambaram, who then belonged to Tamil Maanila Congress.
Following a constitutional crisis when the I. K. Gujral Ministry was on its way out, a special session of Parliament was convened just to pass Chidambaram's 1997-98 Budget.
After the general elections in March 1998 that led to the BJP forming the Central Government, Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister in this government, presented the interim and final budgets for 1998-99.
After general elections in 1999, Sinha again became the finance minister and presented four annual budgets from 1999-2000 to 2002-2003. Due to elections in May 2004, an interim budget was presented by Jaswant Singh.
On 16th March 2012, Pranab Mukherjee presented the seventh Union budget of his career in 2012-13.
On 28th February 2013, P. Chidambaram presented the Union Budget for 2013.14.
The Interim Union Budget for 2014–2015 was presented on February 17, 2014.