Why Was February 1st Selected as the New Date for the Budget Presentation?

NewsWhy Was February 1st Selected as the New Date for the Budget...

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The Union Budget will be presented by Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister, will unveil the interim Union Budget 2024 for the next fiscal year in 10 days. This is an election year, and the General Elections are still months away, therefore a full-fledged budget will not be issued on February 1. An interim budget will not include substantial policy changes. The release of the election results will be followed by the provision of the accurate financial record. February 1st has long been the date of the Union Budget presentation; however, in years past, the event took place on February 28th (or 29th in a leap year). Determine why the date was changed.

How come the budget presentation is now scheduled for a different date?

This procedure underwent a change in 2017 when Arun Jaitley was the minister of finance. The habit of submitting budget proposals on February 1, 2021, continued even as the pandemic advanced.

The release of the economic assessment, a picture of the nation’s financial health, the day before the budget presentation allowed government officials to establish the framework for the presentation the following day. It is customary to deliver the budget during both halves of the Budget Session of Parliament. It is common for the first segment to start on January 31.

For what reason was the date of the budget presentation changed?

By delaying the commencement date, the government intends to have more time to execute new rules and policies prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year on April 1. There was a significant delay in the commencement of the new fiscal year compared to expectations since the Union Budget is normally released on the last working day of February.

The Supreme Court rejected a petition contesting the date modification. The prime minister may attempt to sway voters’ votes by making populist spending promises, according to ML Sharma, a lawyer who had petitioned the government. State elections, according to today’s court decision, do not “impede the work of the Centre” and the Union Budget has “nothing to do with states.”

There was also a change to the timing. The custom of delivering the Union Budget at 5 p.m. on the last business day of February dates back to the British era and continued until 1999. It was then-finance minister Yashwant Sinha who changed the timetable to 11 a.m. in 1999.

Arun Jaitley pointed out that the government had little time to prepare for the new policies and changes that would take effect on April 1 after putting up the budget at the tail end of February. Consequently, the presentation has been rescheduled to February 1st.

The practice of allocating a distinct budget to the railroads, which had persisted since the British rule, was also discontinued by Arun Jaitley, the minister of finance. The Union Budget will include the Railways Budget, the FM declared.

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