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  5. Dream Budget to Black Budget: Look at some of iconic budgets of India

Dream Budget to Black Budget: Look at some of iconic budgets of India

Budget 2024: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her seventh Budget on July 23. This would be the first full budget of Modi 3.0. Let's have an overview of some of the most iconic budgets in India's history.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: July 11, 2024 13:27 IST
Budget 2024, Black Budget, Dream Budget
Image Source : FREEPIK.COM Budget 2024

Budget 2024: Budget 2024: As Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman prepares to present her seventh Budget and the first full budget of the Modi 3.0 government on July 23, 2024, in the Lok Sabha, let's take a look at some of India's iconic budgets.

  • India's First Budget (1947)

RK Shanmukham Chetty presented the first budget of Independent India. The budget covered a period of just seven and a half months, from August 15, 1947, to March 31, 1948. It was the first Union Budget wherein it was decided that both India and Pakistan would share the same currency till September 1948. The focus was on the economic challenges following independence and partition.

  • Black Budget (1973)

Yashwantrao B. Chavan presented the Budget for 1973-74 under Indira Gandhi's government. It was termed the 'Black Budget' due to the high fiscal deficit, which amounted to Rs 550 crore, an unprecedented figure at that time. This budget was presented during a period of significant economic turmoil.

  • Carrot and Stick Budget (1986)

The Union Budget of 1986, presented by then Finance Minister V P Singh, is often referred to as the 'Carrot and Stick Budget' due to its blend of incentives to encourage economic growth and stringent measures to curb tax evasion and black money. It was the first step towards demolishing the licence raj in India. The government introduced a new tax, known as the Modified Value Added Tax (MODVAT) to reduce the cascading effect of taxes and benefit manufacturers and consumers.  It also introduced stringent measures against tax evaders, smugglers and black marketers.

  • Epochal Budget (1991)

Presented by Manmohan Singh in 1991 is known as the 'Epochal Budget', as it kickstarted the era of economic liberalisation in the country. It is considered one of the most iconic budgets presented so far. It is known for its economic liberalisation reforms, this budget marked the shift from a closed economy to an open market. Major reforms included the reduction of import duties, deregulation of industries, and devaluation of the Indian rupee to boost exports. The budget was presented at a time when India was on the verge of an economic collapse, it significantly reduced customs duty from 220 per cent to 150 per cent and took steps to promote exports.

  • Dream Budget (1997)

The budget of 1997-98, presented by P Chidambaram, was dubbed the 'Dream Budget.' It introduced several economic reforms, including lowering income tax rates, removing corporate tax surcharges, and reducing corporate tax rates. The maximum marginal income tax rate for individuals was slashed from 40 per cent to 30 per cent, and for domestic companies to 35 per cent. The budget also introduced the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) to recover black money. It also slashed customs duty to 40 per cent and simplified the excise duty structure.

  • Millennium Budget (2000)

The Budget presented by Yashwant Sinha in 2000, focused on information technology. The budget included measures to promote IT and telecommunications, helping to establish India as an IT powerhouse. Yashwant Sinha's Millennium Budget in 2000 was presented as the road map for the growth of the Information Technology (IT) industry of the country. It also phased out incentives on software exporters and lowered customs duty on 21 items like computers and computer accessories.

  • Rollback Budget (2002)

The 2002-03 budget presented by Yashwant Sinha during the NDA government was famously called the 'Rollback Budget.' It earned this name because several proposals and policies were withdrawn or rolled back by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

  • Railway merger (2017)

The Union Budget of 2017, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, was notable for several key reasons. It was the first budget to be presented on February 1 instead of the traditional date of the last working day of February. Additionally, the 2017 budget merged the Railway Budget with the General Budget and was the first budget post-demonetisation, which aimed to curb black money and counterfeit currency. The 2017 Union Budget was aimed at fostering economic growth, promoting digitalisation and ensuring inclusive development. 

  • Once-in-a-Century Budget

 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget of 2021 is popularly known as the ‘once-in-a-century budget.' It aimed to revitalise the third-largest economy in Asia by boosting investment in infrastructure and healthcare, alongside an aggressive privatization agenda and substantial tax reforms.

Also Read: Budget 2024: Tourism industry seeks uniform 12 per cent GST rate on hotels

Also Read: Union Budget 2024: AiMeD urges government for 15 per cent hike in custom duty on medical devices


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