Representative image (PC- MoneyControl.Com)
With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman all set to read out the Union Budget 2021-22 on February 1, a lot of expectations are mounting up this time. She has already announced that this Budget will be 'like no other'.
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Looking at the duration of the Budget speeches, Sitharaman holds the record of delivering the longest Budget speech in the Parliament. On February 1, 2020, she delivered the longest budget speech ever, by breaking her own record that she held for her first Budget speech of 2019, despite cutting short the delivery after feeling unwell.
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In February 2020, she spoke for a record 162 minutes — two hours and 42 minutes — in Lok Sabha. The FM only had two pages of her Budget speech unread, when she appeared uneasy and her Budget speech was cut short.
Prior to this, in 2019, FM Sitharaman read out the Union Budget for the longest duration of two hours and 15 minutes.
However, she is not the only finance minister in India to have read out the Union Budget for over two continuous hours.
Former Union Finance Minister late Jaswant Singh holds the record of reading out the budget for two hours and 13 minutes in 2003 while late Arun Jaitley took two hours and 10 minutes to present the budget -- 253-paragraph long document -- in 2014.
On an average, Jaitley's Budget speeches were the second-longest in terms of the number of paragraphs -- 185. While the third place was secured by late Pranab Mukherjee who had an average of 202 paragraphs in his speeches. Former FM P Chidambaram comes third in the list with an average of 173 paragraphs.
Apart from these, the longest Budget speeches by Indian finance ministers are -- Yashwant Sinha (170 paragraphs), Dr Manmohan Singh (133), R Venkataraman (132), Haribhai M Patel (117), Yashwantrao B Chavan (88), TTKrishnamachari (78) and Morarji R Desai (77).
However, the first Union Budget
speech read out in Parliament by late R K Shanmukham Chetty was the shortest. It consisted of only 39 paragraphs.