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Corona's impact on the budget

 Corona's impact on the budget: For the first time in 73 years, the budget document will not be printed, the finance minister will address by soft copy


  • Members of Parliament were given two options: soft copy to all or none at all
  • It was not possible for a Member of Parliament to print a limited number of copies.

Corona's impact on the budget: For the first time in 73 years, the budget document will not be printed, the finance minister will address by soft copy

Members of Parliament were given two options: soft copy to all or none at all

It was not possible for a Member of Parliament to print a limited number of copies.


Corona's eclipse has also been felt in the budget document that has been published every year since independence (91947). Documents for this time’s budget 2021-22 are not being printed due to fears of Corona’s transition. The government has got the approval of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Speaker of the Rajya Sabha for this. All members of Parliament will be given soft copies of budget documents this time.

This time, on a budget day, a truck delivering documents outside Parliament will not be seen. The Union Budget is printed in the printing press of the Ministry of Finance every year. The finance ministry says more than 100 people have to be kept in one place for two weeks to print budget documents. Considering Corona, the government cannot keep so many people in the printing press for so long.

There have been huge difficulties in persuading MPs on the issue of soft copy. According to sources, the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Deputy Speaker had to face many difficulties in persuading the MPs for soft copy. Two options were kept with the budget document. All MPs should be given a soft copy or none at all. Also, it is not possible for a Member of Parliament to print a limited number of copies. It was argued that if the documents were to be printed, there could be a risk of Corona's transition in carrying them. 

Read in Gujarati

  A fortnight ago, the printing process started with a halwa ceremony

The first Union Budget was introduced in independent India on 26 November 1947. Its documents have been printed every year since then. The Ministry of Finance organizes a halwa ceremony every year to mark the commencement of printing of budget documents. The ceremony is being held in the basement of the North Block a fortnight before the budget is presented in Parliament. Now the question is whether the halwa ceremony will also be held formally when the budget is not printed?


3 important changes in the budget process


1. Budget in a leather bag

The finance minister's budget documents are usually carried in a leather bag. This tradition was started by the country's first Finance Minister (1947-1949) R.K. Shanmukham Chetty did. In 2019 and 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took the budget documents into the traditional red ledger.


2. Began to be released at 11 a.m. instead of 5 p.m.

The timing of the budget presentation also changed with the goods. Until 1999 the budget was presented at five o'clock on the last working day of February. Yashwant Sinha, who was the finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, changed this tradition and started presenting the budget at 11 am.


3. The rail budget also became part of the general budget

In 2016, the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that from now on, the Union Budget would be presented on February 1. In addition, the railway budget, which has been presented separately for 92 years, was also included in the central budget.

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