Budget 2018: Jaitley may deliver significant portions of speech in Hindi

Arun Jaitley with some members of his Budget team while giving final touches to the Union Budget in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Dalip Kumar
In a break from tradition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to deliver significant portions of his Budget speech on Thursday, particularly those related to the farm sector, in Hindi.

In his previous four Budgets, the FM, who is adept at speaking in both English and Hindi, has been known to intersperse his mostly English speech with Hindi and Urdu couplets and explanatory observations.

However, sources said the FM’s fifth and final Budget speech of the current term of the Narendra Modi government will be truly bilingual, with Jaitley speaking at length in Hindi to reach out to the Hindi heartland. 

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received much appreciation for delivering his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in Hindi. 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has consistently spoken in Hindi at media interactions with visiting dignitaries and on international forums, such as the United Nations General Assembly. Former prime minister A B Vajpayee had, as India’s external affairs minister, addressed the UN General Assembly in Hindi for the first time in the late 1970s. 

The Budget is expected to address rural distress and the common man by focusing on agriculture, job creation, and health. 

The speech will be the government’s way to reach out to the common man to present its most important economic document.


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