The Union Budget will no longer be tabled on the final working day of February, as it had been throughout the British colonial era, according to then-Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The proposal of shifting the time from 5 p.m. to 11 a.m. was proposed by Yashwant Sinha.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will introduce the Union Budget 2022 on February 1. The overall goal of the budget is to achieve quick and balanced economic growth while maintaining social fairness and equality. The current year’s budget will be critical in determining India’s economic growth strategy in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is the budget presented on February 1?

The then-Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in 2017 that the Union Budget will no longer be tabled on the last working day of February, as it had been in the colonial era, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. It was also declared that, unlike in previous years, there will be no separate Railway Budget.

Why was the budget deadline pushed back to 11 a.m.?

The budget was traditionally announced at 5 p.m. on the final business day of February, a practice that continued until 1999. Due to a time difference between New Delhi and Westminster, United Kingdom, this practice has been going on since the colonial period. The Indian time zone differs from British Summer Time by 4.5 hours. Yashwant Sinha, India’s Finance Minister from 1998 to 2002, recommended that the 1999 Union Budget be presented at 11 a.m. during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.

The notion was that by changing the time, better analysis of figures and announcements would be possible, leading to more informed debate and discussion. The request was granted, and Sinha announced the budget for the first time in the history of Independent India at 11 a.m. on February 27, 1999.