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Union Budget 2021: How long will be FM Nirmala Sitharaman's speech this year?

India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gestures as she leaves the Finance Ministry to present the annual budget in parliament in New Delhi on February 1, 2021. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (AFP)Premium
India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gestures as she leaves the Finance Ministry to present the annual budget in parliament in New Delhi on February 1, 2021. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (AFP)

  • Nirmala Sitharaman, who will be presenting her third budget this year, is well known for delivering long budget speeches.
  • In 2020, she spoke for 2 hr 42 min, and in 2019, she delivered a speech for 2 hr 15 min

As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to deliver ' budget like no other', speculations brew regarding how long the budget speech will be this year.

Nirmala Sitharaman, who will be presenting her third budget this year, is well known for delivering long budget speeches.

Also Read | How India can fight vaccine hesitancy

Last year, she delivered the longest budget speech ever despite the fact that she cut it short for being unwell. On the budget day of 2020, she spoke for 162 minutes — two hours and 42 minutes — in Lok Sabha to break her own record of the longest budget speech delivered in 2019. Even then, she had two more pages to read which she had cut short as she was feeling unwell.

Prior to this, in 2019, FM Sitharaman read out the Union Budget for the longest duration of two hours and 15 minutes.

Usually, the budget speech in the Lok Sabha ranges between 90 to 120 minutes.

As India emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the ninth budget under the Modi government, including an interim one, is widely expected to focus on boosting spending on job creation and rural development, generous allocations for development schemes, putting more money in the hands of the average taxpayer and easing rules to attract foreign investments.

On one hand, economists and experts say, the budget will be the starting point for picking up the pieces after the economic destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And it must go beyond being just a 'bahi khata' or a ledger of accounts, as well as canning old schemes in a new bottle.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra praised the Finance Minister saying: Probably for the first time in India's history, the finance minister had to give four-five mini budgets in 2020 in the form of different packages. So, I am confident that this budget will also be seen as part of the series of the four-five mini budgets.

Anurag Thakur says the Budget will be as per people's expectations

Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Monday asserted that the budget 2021-22 will be in accordance with people's expectations and added that the government is working towards a self-reliant India and making its economy grow.

"The Budget will be in accordance with people's expectations. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is the agenda of the Modi government. The government which functions on the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' gave a new direction to India by announcing the Aatmanirbhar package, protecting it from the pandemic and bringing the economy back on track swiftly," Thakur told ANI.

"I have full confidence the budget will fulfill the aspirations of the people. We will continue to make efforts to make India self-reliant and make our economy grow," he added.

Thakur also offered prayers at his residence, ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget 2021-22 in the Parliament.

(With inputs from agencies)

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