Nirmala’s maiden budget


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget on Friday. She broke away from tradition and carried the budget papers to the Parliament House in a  bright red cloth bag instead of the conventional leather briefcase. It took her around two hours and fifteen minutes to read out her speech.

Her speech was punctuated with verses from Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit. Her family members viz her daughter and maternal uncle watched the proceedings from the Speaker’s Gallery on the upper deck. Her proposals were welcomed with frequent thumping of desks. Indira Gandhi was the first woman to present the Budget in 1970 when Finance Minister Morarji Desai resigned from the Cabinet, forcing her to retain the Finance portfolio for a year. Nirmala  presented the budget in one go without even pausing to have a sip of water. Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked up to her to congratulate her after she finished her marathon speech.



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