Budget 2024: What Is White Paper & Why Modi Govt Is Releasing It On India's Economy In Parliament?

Budget 2024: What Is White Paper & Why Modi Govt Is Releasing It On India's Economy In Parliament?

For those wondering, a White Paper is a government document meant to showcase new policies and accomplishments, aiming to garner support and understand public reactions.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 12:08 PM IST
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Interim Budget 2024 | X

The Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday announced the extension of the Budget session of Parliament by one day, now scheduled to conclude on February 10. The session, initially commencing on January 31, was originally set to end on February 9.

In the Union Interim Budget introduced on February 1, the Modi government has announced its plan to release a 'White Paper,' comparing how the economy performed during the 10 years of the Congress-led UPA government versus the 10 years of the BJP-led NDA government.

Pralhad Joshi, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, mentioned on Tuesday that the government would present a 'white paper' that compares the condition of the Indian economy before and after 2014 when the BJP took over from the Congress.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present this 'white paper,' and it will be tabled in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

What is White Paper?

For those wondering, a White Paper is a government document meant to showcase new policies and accomplishments, aiming to garner support and understand public reactions.

The origin of the term 'white paper' dates back to a century-old tradition in the UK government reporting system. In the process of providing data to Parliament for decision-making, government agencies used three distinct types of documents:

1. Lengthy and comprehensive reports with a blue cover.

2. Open-ended reports with a green cover.

3. Short and focused reports addressing a single topic with white covers.

The concise white-covered documents, designed to offer specific information for problem-solving, eventually evolved into what is widely recognized across various industries today as a 'White Paper'.

Why is it called White Paper?

The term 'White Paper' is derived from the practice of binding these documents with a white cover. The color of the cover distinguished these concise and focused government reports from longer and more comprehensive ones. Over time, this naming convention has been retained, and 'White Paper' has become a widely used term for authoritative documents that delve into specific topics, providing information, analysis, or proposals.

Why does the Modi government intend to present a White Paper in Parliament?

During her presentation of the Interim Budget for 2024-25 in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that, when the Modi government assumed power in 2014, India's economy had encountered a crisis. Sitharaman attributed this situation to mismanagement by the previous government.

The Finance Minister announced the government's intention to present a White Paper in the House, with the goal of scrutinizing the economic trajectory from the Congress-led government's tenure until 2014 and comparing it with the state during that period. Emphasizing the objective to glean insights from the alleged mismanagement during those years, Sitharaman outlined that the anticipated White Paper would comprehensively cover and analyze the Indian government's economic policies. This coverage would extend to key areas such as fiscal policy, monetary policy, trade policy, and exchange rate policy.

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