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The Constituent Assembly Debates: Budget in the Indian History

By : The Constituent Assembly Debates: Budget in the Indian History

February 01, 2022

"…the House is indebted…to Dr. Ambedkar, Mr. T.T. Krishnamachari, and other members of the Drafting Committee for evolving a new draft to suit the tempo of Parliament during the last two years. We were very unhappy at the way in which budgets were introduced and passed…at the close imitation of former budgets that were being presented by alien rulers to the former Assembly."

Constituent Assembly Debates
Budget in the Indian History

On Wednesday, the 8th of June in the year 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India while deliberating upon the Draft Constitution discussed, along with other articles, Article 92. The debate was carried out on 8th June 1949. 10th June 1949 and 13th October 1949. It regulated the Annual Financial Statement, which came to be known as Budget.

The Draft Article 92 (Article 112) of the Indian Constitution states that the President shall in respect of every financial year cause to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for that year, in this Part referred to as the “annual financial statement”. It further elaborates on the components of the annual financial statement and the Consolidated Fund of India. it distinguishes the expenditure on revenue account form other expenditures.

For more on Article 112 of the Indian Constitution, see:

Post-amendment, as moved by Prof. K. T. Shah, the Finance Minister was also given the authority, in addition to the President, to present the Budget. The rationale given behind this amendment was that the Finance Minister should be given this opportunity in the capacity of leading the financial administration of the nation. In addition to this, emphasis was laid on retaining the 'complete and exclusive supremacy' of the Parliament on financial matters.

Prof. K. T. Shah stated that:

“That in clause (1) of Article 92, after the word ‘President’, the following be added:— ‘or the Finance Minister acting under the authority of the President, specifically given for the purpose’; and for the words ‘both the Houses’ the words ‘the People’s House’ be substituted and after the words ‘estimated receipts’ the following be inserted:— ‘On revenue account as well as from borrowed money or transfer of sums from other accounts to Revenue Account.’ ”

Many of the proposed amendments were rejected by the Constituent Assembly, and the suggestions as given by the Committee on 10th June 1949 were adopted.

Such and many other contributions adding to the fabric of Indian polity, democracy, economy, and other realms were deliberated by the members of the Constituent Assembly over a period of almost three years. From their relentless work and dedication, the Indian nation derives its intact functional mannerisms, and functions based on an organized set-up.

For more on the Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Vol. VIII), see:

Source: Constituent Assembly Debates, Central Secretariat Library (CSL), Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi

Dr. Divya Sethi