Union Budget 2022: Here’s looking at Longest and shortest Budget speeches given by India’s Finance Ministers
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in 2020 presented her second Union Budget that focussed towards boosting India’s economic growth and maintaining the fiscal disciple. Sitharaman broke her own record of her maiden Budget speech in July 2019. Her 2020 Budget speech, that went on for approximately 160 minutes, is considered the longest Budget speech by any finance minister in India’s history.
Sitharaman had only two pages of her Budget speech unread when she appeared uneasy and was seen wiping sweat from her forehead. She was offered candies by her ministerial colleagues, but that did not help and she opted to discontinue the speech asking Speaker Om Birla to consider the remaining part of her speech as read.
Speaking at an industry event later in the month, Sitharaman had said, “…not just my speech which was very long and that’s the grouse that I am holding up against the ministry.
“I keep telling that in each one of them, and as a matter of fact, I have been persistently nagging them to say last year’s was long, I want this year to be shorter. But, somebody conspired to say that Haha…No, you will do it longer.”
While presenting her first Budget after becoming the Finance Minister in 2019, Sitharaman gave a speech that lasted for 2 hours and 17 minutes. She had thus surpassed Jaswant Singh’s record. In the year 2003, then FM Jaswant Singh had presented his Budget speech that lasted for 133 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Budget speech presented by then Finance Minister Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel in 1977 is considered as the shortest ever. Patel’s interim Budget speech consisted of merely 800 words.