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  • National
    Chidambaram to present his 7th Budget on Feb. 29

    New Delhi (PTI): After presenting his maiden "dream" budget in 1997, Finance Minister P Chidambaram is all set to present his seventh budget on February 29.

    In the North Block, action is in full swing and the entry of all "unwanted" persons - that includes the media - have been barred to ensure that nothing about the budget is leaked.

    Since it will be the last full budget of the UPA government in this term, there are lots of expectations from the Finance Minister.

    But it is the late Morarji Desai who still holds the privilege of presenting the maximum number of eight full and two interim budgets in his political career.

    The budgets presented by Desai included five annual budgets and an interim budget during his first stint and one interim budget and three final budgets in the second tenure when he was both the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

    He tabled annual budgets for the years from 1959-60 to 1963-64 and the interim budget for 1962-63. Again, in 1967 Morarji Desai presented the budget. He is the only finance minister who presented the Budget on his birthday, which fell on February 29, 1968.

    After he resigned, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, took over the Finance Ministry to become the only woman to hold the portfolio.

    India's first budget was presented by a Tamilian, R K Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947.

    Pranab Mukherjee presented the annual budgets for 1982-83, 1983-84 and 1984-85. He was the first Rajya Sabha member to hold the Finance portfolio.

    Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-88 after V P Singh quit his government. He was the third Prime Minister to present a budget after his mother and grandfather.

    N D Tiwari presented the budget for 1988-89 and S B Chavan for 1989-90, while Madhu Dandawate presented budget for 1990-91.

    Following subsequent political developments, Yashwant Sinha became the Finance Minister but presented interim budget for 1991-92 as elections were forced.

    In the elections held in May 1991, the Congress returned to power and Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister. He presented the final budget for 1991-92 in July 1991.

    The next four annual budgets of Manmohan Singh had an orientation different from the one followed till then. He opened the economy, encouraged foreign investments and reduced the peak import duty from 300 plus to 50 per cent.

    After the elections in 1996, another non-Congress ministry assumed office. So, a final budget for 1996-97 was presented by Chidambaram who then belonged to Tamil Maanila Congress.

    Following a constitutional crisis when the I K Gujral Ministry was on its way out, a special session of Parliament was convened only to pass Chidambaram's 1997-98 budget, which was passed without a debate.

    After the General Elections in March 1998, Yashwant Sinha became Finance Minister in the Vajpayee government and presented the interim and final budgets for 1998-99.

    After the 13th General Elections in 1999, he again became Finance Minister and presented four annual budgets- from 1999-2000 to 2002-2003.

    Due to elections in May 2004, an interim budget was presented by Jaswant Singh.


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