Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made history by becoming only the sixth finance minister in India to present five consecutive federal budgets. Sitharaman has been at the helm of the finance ministry since the Modi government took office in 2019 and has played a crucial role in navigating the country through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sitharaman is only the second woman to present the budget after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who presented the budget for the financial year 1970-71. The other finance ministers to present five consecutive budgets include Arun Jaitley, P Chidambaram, Yashwant Sinha, Manmohan Singh, and Morarji Desai.
Jaitley presented five budgets in a row from 2014-15 to 2018-19 while serving as the finance minister in the Modi government. Chidambaram presented five budgets in the UPA government from 2004-05 to 2008-09. Sinha presented the interim and final budgets for 1998-99 in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and went on to present four more budgets from 1999-2000 to 2002-03.
During his tenure as finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government, Manmohan Singh presented budgets from 1991-92 to 1995-96. His 1991-92 budget, which introduced a host of economic reforms to liberalize the economy, gave a new direction to India. Morarji Desai, who holds the record for presenting the maximum number of budgets by any finance minister, presented five of them in a row from 1959-60 to 1963-64 during his time as finance minister.
Sitharaman’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year starting in April 2023 will be her fifth straight budget since taking office in 2019. During her tenure, India has maintained its status as the fastest-growing major economy and a “bright spot” in the world economy.
In conclusion, Nirmala Sitharaman’s achievement of presenting five consecutive federal budgets puts her in the league of some of India’s most prominent finance ministers and highlights her expertise in navigating the country’s economy. The upcoming budget will be eagerly awaited by the nation to see what measures the finance minister has in store for further strengthening the country’s economic growth.