Budget 2021: Why is it important and what’s in store?3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
February 1 is an important day for India, something very crucial takes place this time each year that decides how the rest of the year is going to be. That event is the presentation of the Union Budget, also referred to as the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Indian Constitution.
The Union Budget is essentially a statement of the Government’s revenue as well as expenditure for the year. The reason it is presented on February 1 by the Finance Minister is so that there is ample time to discuss it and bring it into effect by April 1, which is the start of the new financial year.
The budget session is generally split into two periods, with a gap of one month between them.
Owliver’s Obscure Facts
A financial year is a period of twelve months, used by the government, businesses and other organisations in order to calculate their budgets, profits and losses. For businesses, February 1 means more than January 1!
Here’s a fun fact about the Budget – until the year 1999, it was announced at 5 pm on the last working day of February. This practice was inherited from the Colonial Era! The first Union Budget of India, was presented on April 7, 1860, by the then Finance Minister James Wilson.
The first Union Budget of Independent India was presented on November 26, 1947, by Sir RK Shanmugham Chetty – the first Finance Minister of Independent India. The current Finance Minister of India is Nirmala Sitharaman.
A Covid-shaped cloud
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for the year 2021-2022 in Parliament on February 1. This time, the session was especially crucial due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with unemployment at an all-time high.
The ongoing farmers protests, which Owliver outlined in our earlier story, also loomed large over this session of the Parliament. Some questions that were on the minds of people this time around were how the budget would address the thousands of jobs that were lost during the lockdown, whether more money would be allocated to the healthcare industry, and what would be in store for
the protesting farmers.
Budget 2021 highlights
This illustration highlights the key takeaways from the 2021 Union Budget.
Illustrations: Rehna Kareem. Rehna is a freelance illustrator and an integral part of Team Owliver, who doodles at Paper Planes Doodles