In an attempt to move away from the British-era tradition of keeping the budget report in a briefcase, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman carried it in a red packet with the national emblem, wrapped with a ribbon. The picture has gone viral in the social media.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary S C Garg, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and other officials outside Finance Ministry. #Budget2019 to be presented at 11 am in Lok Sabha today pic.twitter.com/oCyrMSNg7N
— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2019
Meanwhile, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said that the Budget briefcase had been replaced by the traditional bahi khata in keeping with Indian tradition.
“It is in Indian tradition. It symbolizes our departure from slavery of western thought. It is not a budget but a ‘bahi khata'(ledger),” Mr Subramanian was quoted as telling news agency ANI.
“Ms Sitharaman believes that leather made products are not auspicious for the big occasion, so she avoided the leather bag and took the bahi khata. This is considered to be auspicious. The Finance Minister has worked in the UK and she knows the tradition of our country. We must appreciate her decision,” he added.
Sitharaman said in her first Budget speech that the last tenure of NDA government performed well, while the Indian economy has hit a five-year low growth of 6.8 per cent in 2018-19.