Nirmala Sitharaman will present its annual financial statements in dematerialized format

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Union Budget 2022: The Union Budget 2021 has been presented for the first time in a digital format to promote the Centre’s flagship digital India program and with the aim of going green and minimizing physical contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Union Budget 2022: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is seen carrying a tablet kept inside a red colored cover with a gold colored national emblem embossed on it instead of the briefcase. News18

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the 2022-23 budget in a paperless format just like last year.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen carrying a tablet kept inside a red colored cover with a golden colored national emblem embossed on it instead of the briefcase or ‘bahi khata’ .

In a historic move, the Union Budget 2021 has been presented in digital format for the first time to promote the Government of India’s (GoI) flagship Digital India programme. This is seen as an attempt to go green and also minimize physical contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sitharaman in 2019 abandoned the long-standing tradition of carrying a briefcase and became ‘Swadeshi’ to replace the briefcase with the traditional ‘bahi khata’ saying that the Modi government was not a ‘suitcase-carrying government’.
Sitharaman was accompanied by MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad and other officials from his ministry, Sitharaman is due to meet President Ram Nath Kovind before presenting the budget at 11am today.

Last year, the central government launched the “Union Budget Mobile App” to allow MPs and ordinary citizens to digitally access budget documents. The Union budget 2022-2023 would also be available on the mobile application after the presentation of the budget on February 1 in Parliament.

The application facilitates full access to the 14 documents of the Union budget, including the annual financial statement (commonly referred to as the budget), the request for grants (DG) and the finance bill, as prescribed by the Constitution.

The word “Budget” comes from the French word Bougette, which means leather briefcase. The tradition of carrying the Budget briefcase was a copy of the “Gladstone box”, used in the British budget.

In 1860, then British Budget Chief William E Gladstone used a red suitcase with the Queen’s monogram embossed in gold to carry his documents, known as the “Gladstone Box”.

In 1947, India’s first finance minister, RK Shanmukham Chetty, carried a leather wallet to present the first budget.

Before Nirmala Sitharaman, a long tradition of budget presentation was broken under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government with then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha presenting the budget at 11 a.m. instead of the traditional 5 p.m. time.

At the first, this year, there was no customary “halwa ceremony” amid COVID-19 curbs.

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