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Union Budget 2023: Know the longest and shortest Budget speeches

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the Union Budget 2023-2024 in Parliament on February 1. This is Nirmala Sitharaman’s fifth Union Budget and the last full Budget of Narendra Modi 2.0 government.

According to Article 112 of the Constitution, the government is required to present a statement of estimated income and expenses for each financial year, which runs from April 1 to March 31, to the Parliament.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds the record for longest Budget speech. She gave the longest Budget speech  on February 1, 2020, while presenting the  Union Budget 2020-21. She spoke for 2 hours and 42 minutes straight. After this she cut short her speech as she felt unwell — with 2 pages still remaining.  The total length of the text was 13,275 words.

Also Read: Union Budget 2023: Know the history of Budget briefcase 

Prior to this, the longest Budget speech by any Indian Finance minister was  on July 5, 2019. It was also done by Nirmala Sitharaman. It was her maiden Budget speech. She spoke for 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her shortest Budget speech — 1 hour and 40 minutes (10,500 words) in 2021. She presented the Budget in a tablet. It was the first time ever in India that a Union Budget was presented on a tablet.

Before Sitharaman’s 2019 feat, the longest Budget speech record was held by Jaswant Singh’s of two hours and 15 minutes in 2003. Former Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley hold the record on the third, fourth and fifth spots for the longest Budget speeches. 18,122 words in 2015, 17,991 words in 2018, and 16,528 words while presenting the Union Budget in 2014 — the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

In terms of word limit of speech’s text, Manmohan Singh created the record in 1991 under the Narasimha Rao government.  Manmohan Singh’s Budget speech had 18,650 words. Arun Jaitley’s 2018 Budget speech came close to this — 18,604 words that he delivered in 1 hour and 49 minutes.

The shortest Budget speech was done by Hirubhai Muljibhai Patel in 1977. That was the interim budget. It was introduced on March 28, 1977. The budget speech that year consisted of 800 words.


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