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Budget throwback: Prime Ministers who presented the Union Budget

Budget throwback: Prime Ministers who presented the Union Budget


With the Union Budget 2024 scheduled to be presented on July 23 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, its important to remember that in many cases in Indian history, the budget has also been presented by the Prime Minister or by those who have went on to eventually become Prime Ministers.

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister was also India’s first prime minister to present the Union Budget. (HT Photo)

Also Read: Union Budget 2024: Longest and shortest budget speeches presented in Parliament

Who are India’s Prime Ministers who have also resented the Union Budget?

Here’s a list of Prime Ministers who have presented the Union Budget before the Parliament:

1. Jawaharlal Nehru (1958)

Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first prime minister to also present the Union Budget, which he did in 1958. This was because T. T. Krishnamachari, the then-finance minister was forced to resign on February 12 of the same year, after details of the Mundhra Scandal became public, forcing Nehru to take charge of the finance ministry.

2. Morarji Desai (1959 – 1963 and 1967 – 1969)

Morarji Desai, who was Prime Minister from 1977 to 1979 with the ruling Janata party presented budgets consecutively from 1959 to 1963, along with the interim budget of 1962. He also presented the budgets of 1967, 1968, and 1969, along with the interim budget of 1967.

Also Read: Your Union Budget 2024 cheatsheet: Direct, indirect taxes and what you must look for

He holds the record for having presented the highest number of Union Budgets, having presented 10 budgets in total, of which, 8 were annual and 2 were interim.

3. Indira Gandhi (1970)

Indira Gandhi took control of the finance ministry after Morarji Desai resigned in 1969 and presented the Union Budget 1970. She subsequently appointed Home Minister Yashwantrao Chavan as the finance minister after a year.

4. Rajiv Gandhi (1987)

Rajiv Gandhi briefly headed the finance ministry between January and July 1987 as he had removed the V.P. Singh, the finance minister at that time from his position.

5. Manmohan Singh (1991 – 1996)

Manmohan Singh was the finance minister under the government of P.V. Narasimha Rao from 1991 to 1996, with the 1991 budget being one of India’s most influential, calling for liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation of the Indian economy after years of slowing growth. The 1994 budget also saw the introduction of the service tax, which became an important source of revenue for the government.

Also Read: Worried about rising prices? Here’s what inflation trends are ahead of Union Budget



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