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HomeGlobal NewsBudget Presentation Time Was Changed From 5 PM To 11 AM. Here's...

Budget Presentation Time Was Changed From 5 PM To 11 AM. Here’s Why

Budget Presentation Time Was Changed From 5 PM To 11 AM. Here's Why

Budget 2024: Until 1999, the Budget was presented at 5 pm.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the full Union Budget for 2024 on July 23. The highly anticipated budget is the BJP-led NDA government’s first after its re-election for a third term. The budget is expected to outline the government’s vision for the country’s economic growth, development and fiscal policies for the upcoming financial year.

The budget presentation will begin at 11 am in the Lok Sabha and will be broadcast live on various platforms. While it is now a norm for the budget to be presented at 11 am, this was not always the case. 

History: Time of Budget presentation

Until 1999, the Budget was presented at 5 pm, a tradition inherited from the colonial era. This timing was convenient for the British government, as it allowed for announcements in London and India simultaneously. As India is 5 hours 30 minutes ahead of the UK, the 5 pm timing in India corresponded to 11:30 am GMT, making it easier for the British government to coordinate the budget announcements.

However, even after India gained independence, the 5 pm timing remained unchanged. It wasn’t until 1999 that Yashwant Sinha, the then-finance Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government, decided to change the presentation time to 11 am. This change was made for two important reasons. Firstly, India was no longer a British colony, and therefore, didn’t need to follow London’s time zone. Secondly, he wanted to give lawmakers and officials more time to study and discuss the budget.

On February 27, 1999, Yashwant Sinha presented the Union Budget at 11 am for the first time. This new timing became a permanent change, and since then, all Union Budgets have been presented at 11 am. 

History: Date of Budget presentation

Historically, the budget was presented on the last day of February. However, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley broke away from this tradition and started presenting the budget on February 1. The change was made to allow for a smoother implementation of new budgetary policies from the start of the new financial year on April 1. The extra month provided a more practical timeframe for the government to put the budget plans into action. 

In 2016, the Railways Budget, which was earlier presented separately, was merged with the Union Budget, ending a 92-year-old tradition. 

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