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Budget: History of budget system in India

The Budget was first introduced in India on 7th April 1860 from East-India Company to British Crown. The first Indian Budget was presented by James Wilson on February 18, 1869. Mr. Wilson was the Finance Member of the India Council that advised the Indian Viceroy.

The word “Budget” was derived from the Middle English word “bowgette”, which came from Middle French “bougette—meaning a leather bag. The Indian budget is presented in Parliament on a date fixed by the President. The Budget speech of the finance minister normally has two parts. Part A deals with general economic survey of the country while Part B relates to taxation proposals.

First Indian Budget

The Budget was first introduced in India on 7th April 1860 from East-India Company to British Crown. The first Indian Budget was presented by James Wilson on February 18, 1869. Mr. Wilson was the Finance Member of the India Council that advised the Indian Viceroy. He was Scottish businessman, economist, and Liberal politician. He founded The Economist and the Standard Chartered Bank.

First budget of the Republic of India

Mr. Chetty was succeeded by John Mathai. Mr. Mathai in 1949-50 delivered the most lucid Budget Speech as he decided not to read out all the details telling members that a White Paper with all details were being circulated. He then gave a small lecture on inflation and economic policy. It was the first Budget for an actually united India since it included the financial statements for the former Princely States and where the biggest news was the news of forming of Planning Commission and the need for having five-year plans.

Budget & foreign relations

Budgets don’t deal with issues like foreign relations, yet some sign of India’s tilt towards Russia can be seen in the Budgets of the 1950s. Foreign aid inflows to help the new nation were a major source of revenue, and at the start of the decade, these were mostly from the US and UK.

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