New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2021 on February 1. This year's budget holds a major significance as it is going to be presented amid economic challenges posed by coronavirus pandemic. Though the government has not provided any hint, it is expected that the upcoming budget will focus on how it is planning to revive the economy which is likely to contract by 7.7 per cent for the financial year 2020-21.

The budget is all set to be presented before the parliament at 11 am. Earlier, the budget used to be unveiled at five o'clock in the evening and not during the day. Thus, we are here to tell you the reason why the budget was presented during the evening and was changed to 11 o'clock in the morning.

Before 1999, the Union Budget of India was presented around 5 pm in the evening. This tradition was followed for a long time. This was followed by the British regime as the members of Britain's parliaments 'House of Commons' and 'House of Lords' used to listen to India's budget before independence and at that time the time of delivering budget was at five in the evening. This so happened because there was a time-zone gap between New Delhi (+5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Westminster, UK. The Indian time zone was 4.5 hours ahead of BST (British Summer Time).

However, even after the independence, the tradition continued and it was in 1999 that the pattern changed in the tenure of Atal Bihari Bajpayee. It so happened when the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha started the tradition of presenting the budget at 11 am. He along with his Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar, senior officials in his Ministry, and D Swarup, discussed came to an agreement of shifting the budget presentation time from evening to morning. Since then, the Union Budget is presented during the day.

For the unversed, till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. After that, the Former finance minister Arun Jaitley changed the tradition to February 1 and since then it is being followed.

Posted By: Deeksha Sharma