In 1860, as the British Crown was trying to find a solution to India’s financial crisis caused by the 1857 mutiny, James Wilson presented independent India’s first-ever budget.
Since 1947, every government in India has introduced budgets to provide the government with a platform to introduce policies and reforms that will benefit the common taxpayers. As we celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day, let’s look at some of the most interesting facts about the Union Budget.
James Wilson, a Scottish lawyer, and signer of the Constitution presented independent India’s first-ever budget on November 26, 1947. He was the Finance Minister of independent India from 1947 to 1949.
After emigrating to America in 1765, Wilson served as a Latin tutor at the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Pennsylvania), but soon abandoned that career to studying law under John Dickinson. He later established a practice in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
As the national government grew and Wilson became an associate justice on the Supreme Court, he began to focus more strongly on his quest for wealth. He resorted to speculative land investments and his health started to fail. He was eventually imprisoned in New Jersey for debt and then fled to North Carolina, where he died from malaria and a stroke at Edenton, N.C.
RK Shanmukham Chetty
The Union Budget is the financial document that provides direction to a country’s economic efforts and creates a more conducive business environment. It is presented every year on February 1 in Parliament.
The budget is important as it gives a clear direction to the nation’s finance minister and policymakers. It also plays an important role in shaping a country’s economic outlook and giving the nation a sense of optimism and direction.
RK Shanmukham Chetty, the first ever Union Finance Minister of independent India, presented the country’s first-ever budget after the independence on November 26th, 1947.
Chetty grew up in an affluent family of mill owners in Coimbatore and completed his education at Madras Christian College and Madras Law College. He then became the councilor of the Coimbatore Municipality in 1917 and later on, he was elected into the Madras Legislative Assembly.
The first Finance Minister of independent India presented the country’s first-ever budget on March 27, 1947. This budget aimed to deal with the economic consequences of the Partition of India, which was happening at that time.
Yashwant Sinha was born in Patna, Bihar, and was raised in a middle-class family. He joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1960 and spent 24 years serving in different positions before resigning to join active politics as a member of the Janata Party.
Sinha is widely credited for pushing through many major reforms that placed the Indian economy on a stable growth trajectory. However, he was also criticized for rolling back several of his government’s main policy achievements.
Rajiv Gandhi, son of the first Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi, was the youngest prime minister in the world at the time. He led the Congress Party to a successful victory in the elections of 1980.
He presented independent India’s first-ever budget. During his tenure, the country saw the introduction of value-added tax, which is still in use today.
Despite this, his tenure in power was marred by a series of scandals including the Bofors affair, a major corruption case. It involved millions of dollars and alleged payoffs to a Swedish company, which manufactured arms for the Indian government.
He also committed India to a peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka, but this mission was viewed by the Tamil Tigers as an attempt to encircle the island nation. The IPKF’s mission ended in 1990, but the LTTE continued to believe that Rajiv was their number one enemy.
After decades of low growth, India began to take some big decisions that would change the course of its history. One of the most notable was the presentation of independent India’s first-ever budget, presented by Manmohan Singh on July 24, 1991.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge and Oxford, Manmohan Singh worked for the United Nations and a variety of other international organizations before moving into Indian bureaucracy. He subsequently held several key posts, including the chief economic advisor and governor of the Reserve Bank of India.