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Nirmala Sitharaman Replaces Tradition Of Carrying Budget Briefcase

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Ahead of the presentation of her maiden Union Budget 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen carrying the budget speech in a red cloth with the State Emblem of India on it, instead of a briefcase. She was seen with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary S C Garg, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and other officials outside the Ministry of Finance.

Nirmala Sitharaman Replaces Tradition Of Carrying Budget Briefcase
 

CEA Subramanian said that the four fold red cloth instead of a briefcase is in the Indian tradition. It symbolizes our departure from slavery of Western thought, ANI reported him saying. It is not a budget but a 'bahi khata'(ledger), he added.

Traditionally, the finance minister carrying his/her budget speech in a briefcase, a custom picked from the British rule.

In fact, the word "budget" comes from a French word "Bougette" which means "little bag". It is known as the budget box in the UK, whereas in India it is a briefcase.

Also Read: The Story Behind the Union Budget Briefcase

The tradition of using the colour red also comes from the UK, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer carries a red box.

In India, however, the colour and style of the briefcase has changed over years. Yashwant Singh's briefcase had buckles and straps, whereas Manmohan Singh carried a briefcase similar to the Gladstone box only, black in colour. Ex-Finance minister P Chidambaram was seen with scarlet leather briefcase much like the British one and our current FM Arun Jaitley had carried a tan briefcase in 2015.

Story first published: Friday, July 5, 2019, 9:44 [IST]
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