The Narendra Modi government has changed the name of Union Budget to traditional "Bahi-Khata". During her budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will call the Union Budget 2019 as "Desh Ka Bahi-Khata". Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) K Subramanian said that the word "Bahi-Khata" translates to statement of account and symbolizes our departure from slavery of Western thought.
"It is in Indian tradition. It symbolizes our departure from slavery of Western thought. It is not a budget but a 'bahi khata', ANI quoted the CEA as saying.
The term Budget dervies from the French word 'bougette', which means a briefcase. But a 'bahi khaata' is a traditional Hindi word, which translates to 'statement of account or ledger'. It means that budget is representation of the accounts o fthe Union of India.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman broke the age-old tradition of ‘budget briefcase’ ahead of her first maiden budget. Instead of traditional black, brown or beige briefcases, Sitharaman chose to simply wrap the Budget documents in a red cloth.
The Budget documents were always carried in a leather briefcase with different shades of red and brown. This tradition continues from the British era, who used a Gladstone box.
It was in the 18th century when Chancellor of the Exchequer or Britain's budget chief was first asked to 'open the budget' while presenting his annual statement. In 1860, the then British budget chief William E Gladstone, known for his long speeches, used a red suitcase with Queen's monogram embossed in gold to carry his bundle of papers.
In India, the tradition of posing with a bag before the Budget speech started when Independent India's first ever Budget announced by the then Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947.
At the day of presenting a 1998-99 budget, Finance minister Yashwant Sinha carried a special black leather bag that had straps and buckles on it. While the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a simple black bag during the most famous Budget of 1991. However, Pranab Mukherjee sprung a surprise when he as the finance minister in the UPA came to Parliament with a red-coloured box which looked like a copy of what was used in Britain.