Roadmap for future
–Simplification of procedures.
–Making the best use of technology.
–Accelerating mega programmes and services initiated and delivered so far.
Nirmala Sitharaman only 2nd woman to present Union Budget
Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman became only the second woman in the history of independent India to present the Union Budget. Prior to it former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first and only woman so far to have presented the Union Budget. In 1970, she presented the Union Budget of India for 1970-71, after she took over the finance portfolio following the resignation of Morarji Desai as Finance Minister. Indira Gandhi held the portfolio for a year before appointing her Home Minister, Yashwantrao Chavan, as Finance Minister. Morarji Desai holds the distinction of presenting the most number of budgets – 10.
Smt. Sitharaman, 59, presented the Modi 2.0 government’s maiden budget in the Lok Sabha. Prior to the presentation, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Budget for 2019-20.
She handed over a copy of the Union Budget to Hon’ble President Shri Ram Nath Kovind before her maiden budget speech. Breaking away from the brown Budget briefcase, she held a red parcel like bag with a key hole on the emblem.
In the post-liberalization era Smt. Sitharaman presented the 29th Budget. Prior to her, six Finance Ministers: Manmohan Singh (1991-1996), Yashwant Sinha (1998-2003), Jaswant Singh (2003-2004), P. Chidambaram (1996-1998, 2004-2009, 2013-2014), Pranab Mukherjee (2009-2013), and Arun Jaitley (2014-2019) had presented 28 Budgets.
Shri Arun Jaitley presented all the five Budgets of the Modi government’s first tenure but missed out on presenting the interim budget in February this year due to ill-health. Stand-in Finance Minister Shri Piyush Goyal presented the pre-general election interim Budget on February 1, this year.
Smt. Sitharaman was also the second women Defence Minister after Indira Gandhi who held the portfolio till 1982. However, unlike Gandhi, she was the first full-time women Defence Minister.
FDI inflows into India remained robust in 2018-19
The Union Minster of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that FDI inflows into India have remained robust despite global headwinds.
Presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in Parliament, she said that India’s FDI inflows in 2018-19 remained strong at USD 64.375 billion marking a 6% growth over the previous year. The Finance Minister proposed the following steps to further consolidate the gains in order to make India a more attractive FDI destination :
The Government will examine suggestions of further opening up of FDI in aviation, media (animation, AVGC) and insurance sectors in consultation with all stakeholders. 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will be permitted for insurance intermediaries. Local sourcing norms will be eased for FDI in Single Brand Retail sector.