Budgets of the past – The opening lines

Did you know all budget presented by various finance ministers since independence is available in pdf format at Indian Government’s budget website – indiabudget.nic.in. (The webcast of this year’s budget to be presented tomorrow, 26th Feb will also be available on the same site.)

I happened to look at few of the budget archives and here are some interesting opening lines-

“I rise to present the first Budget of a free and independent India.”
– R.K. SHANMUKHAM CHETTY, 1947 – 1948

“….The massive mandate that the people of India gave the Janata Party in March this year was not just a vote against authoritarianism. It was also a manifestation of our people‚Äôs desire for a reorientation and a reshaping of our economic policies so as to bring about speedy elimination of poverty and destitution. In the last few weeks, our Government has taken several steps to dismantle the authoritarian and repressive structure erected during the dark days of Emergency.”
– H.M.PATEL MINISTER, 1977-78 – First budget after the controversial state of emergency by Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977.

“…The new Government, which assumed office in mid-November 1990, inherited an economic situation of crisis proportions. The budget deficit of the Central Government reached a level of Rs. 13,000 crores, on 30th November 1990, as a consequence of revenue shortfalls and expenditure overruns. The Wholesale Price Index registered an increase of 8.5 per cent, while the Consumer Price Index rose by 11.9 per cent, during the first eight months of the current financial year. The sharp deterioration in the balance of payments situation led to a rapid depletion of foreign exchange reserves, which dropped to Rs. 3142 crores at the end of November 1990 and this sum was not even sufficient to finance imports for one month.”
– Yashwant Sinha, 1991-92 (Interim)

“I rise to present the budget for 1991-92. As I rise, I am overpowered by a strange feeling of loneliness. I miss a handsome, smiling, face listening intently to the Budget Speech. Shri Rajiv Gandhi is no more. But his dream lives on; his dream of ushering India into the twenty-first century; his dream of a strong, united, technologically sophisticated but humane India.I dedicate this budget to his inspiring memory.”
– Manmohan Singh, 1991-92

“… Honourable Members would recall that when the new Government assumed office eight months ago, we inherited an economy on the verge of collapse. Inflation was accelerating rapidly. The balance of payments was in serious trouble. The foreign exchange reserves were barely enough for two weeks of imports. Foreign commercial banks had stopped lending to India. Non-Resident Indians were withdrawing their deposits. Shortages of foreign exchange had forced a massive import squeeze, which had halted the rapid industrial growth of earlier years and had produced negative growth rates from May 1991 onwards.”
– Manmohan Singh, 1992-93