Home / Budget / News /  Budget 2023: FM Nirmala Sitharaman meets President Droupadi Murmu before budget speech

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday called on President Droupadi Murmu before presenting Union Budget 2024. As per tradition, finance minister meets President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan before heading to Parliament on Budget day.

Rashtrapati Bhawan tweeted, "Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, MoS Shri Pankaj Chaudhary and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget 2023-24".

The Union Cabinet met thereafter to clear the Budget.

Dressed in a red saree with a black and golden border, Sitharaman continued with the tradition she set in 2019, carrying the budget speech in a 'bahi-khata', which she used after ditching the briefcase. She kept a digital tablet in a red bahi khata-style pouch.

In 2019, the Union Budget was presented in a traditional 'bahi-khata' rather than a leather briefcase. It was the first time since independence that any Finance Minister had 'opted out' of a briefcase or a hardbound leather bag.

The minister in 2019 not only garnered huge attention for carrying a 'bahi-khata', but also for implying the rich culture the country holds.

A 'bahi-khata' holds prominence in Indian culture, tradition, and history. For decades, the Indian way of managing accounts and keeping a record of bills was done in a 'bahi-khata'.

However in 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had to take necessary steps to maintain the security and safety of everyone. The Finance Minister moved ahead with the first paperless Budget holding a digital tablet wrapped in a red-coloured cover with the national emblem emblazoned on it.

The same year, the minister also launched the 'Union Budget Mobile App' for hassle-free access to Budget documents by the parliamentarians and the general public.

Expectations are running high as Sitharaman presents her fifth budget in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. She has her task cut out to maintain the world's fastest-growing economy tag for India while staying fiscally prudent and meeting general public expectations of lower taxes and a wider social security net.

Yesterday, FM Sitharaman tabled the pre-budget Economic Survey for 2022-23, which projected a 6-6.8% growth for the economy in the coming financial year.

The economy is projected to expand by 7% in the current fiscal year.

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