New Delhi: On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 11 am commenced the budget session at the Parliament. Union Budget 2023 her endorsing "Digital India" as she left behind the 'bahi-khata' and stepped into the Parliament with a digital device to present the budget.
This Budget marks Nirmala Sitharaman's fifth Budget presentation as the Finance Minister of India. The minister in 2019 not only garnered huge attention for carrying a 'bahi-khata', but also for implying the rich culture the country holds as she donned a saree.
In 2019, the Union Budget was presented in a traditional 'bahi-khata' (ledger). She moved forward from using the hardbound leather briefcase and switched to the 'bahi-khata.' It was the first time since independence that any Finance Minister had 'opted out' of a briefcase or a hardbound leather bag.
The significance of the 'bahi-khata' in Indian history
A 'bahi-khata' holds prominence in Indian culture, tradition, and history. For decades, the Indian way of managing accounts and keeping a record of bills was done in a 'bahi-khata'. Traders, merchants, sailors, and even small shopkeepers have retained this way of preserving their data.
Union Budget Mobile App
The Finance Minister moved ahead with the first paperless Budget holding a digital tablet wrapped in a red-coloured cover with the national emblem emblazoned on it.
The same year, the minister also launched the 'Union Budget Mobile App' for hassle-free access of Budget documents by the parliamentarians and the general public. Following the same trend the next year, the Union Budget 2022 was also a paperless budget.
(With ANI inputs)
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