Budget in bahi khata: FM Sitharaman continues tradition she started

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with the 'Bahi Khata' of 2020. Photo: ANI

For her second budget presentation, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday carried documents in a traditional 'Bahi-Khata' (ledger) wrapped in a red cloth, similar to what she carried last year.

Dressed in crisp yellow silk saree, accompanied by MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and other officials from her ministry, Sitharam will meet President Ram Nath Kovind before presenting the budget at 11 am today. The duration of the budget speech usually ranges from 90 to 120 minutes.

Last year, Sitharaman had ditched the long-standing tradition of carrying budget documents in a leather briefcase and went swadeshi with a 'bahi-khata'.

Commenting on the shift from a briefcase to 'bahi-khata' during the 89th Union Budget, Chief Economic Advisor, Krishnamurthy Subramanian had told ANI in July last year, "The government is following Indian tradition and 'bahi khata' symbolises our departure from the slavery of Western thought."

 

On being asked about the replacement of the briefcase, Subramanian had said, "It is not a Budget, but a Bahi-Khata (ledger)."

"Sitharaman believes that leather made products are not auspicious for the big occasion, so she avoided the leather bag and took the 'bahi khata' wrapped in the red cloth. This is considered to be auspicious," he had said.

In July last year, Sitharaman had said that the Modi government is not a "suitcase-carrying government", in an apparent jibe at the past dispensations.

Before Sitharaman, a long-standing tradition in connection with the budget presentation was broken during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government with the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha presenting the budget at 11 am rather than at the traditional time of 5 pm.

Since then all governments have been presenting the budget at 11 am.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel