New Delhi- The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday approved the pre-election budget 2024-25, sources said.

Following this, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her sixth budget in the Lok Sabha. She will equal the record of former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

Sitharaman, the first full-time woman finance minister of the country, has presented five full budgets since July 2019 and will present an interim or vote-on-account budget on Thursday.

With this, she will surpass the records of her predecessors like Manmohan Singh, Arun Jaitley, P Chidambaram, and Yashwant Sinha, who had presented five budgets in a row.

Desai, as finance minister, had presented five annual budgets and one interim budget between 1959 and 1964.

The interim budget 2024-25 will be a vote-on-account that will give the government authority to spend certain sums of money till a new government comes to office after the April-May general elections.

Budget 2024: Nirmala Sitharaman meets President ahead of Budget speech

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday called on President Droupadi Murmu before presenting the pre-election Budget for 2024-25.

As per established tradition, the finance minister met the President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan before heading to Parliament.

“Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt Nirmala Sitharaman along with Ministers of State Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and Shri Pankaj Chaudhary and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget,” Rashtrapati Bhawan said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

President Murmu offered ‘dahi-chini’ (curd-sugar), considered auspicious, to Sitharaman, before she left for Parliament to present the budget.

Murmu extended her best wishes to the finance minister.

The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later approved the budget.

Expectations are running high as Sitharaman presents her sixth budget in the Lok Sabha. She has her task cut out to maintain the world’s fastest-growing economy tag for India while staying fiscally prudent and meeting general public expectations of lowering taxes in an election year.

Wearing a blue saree, Sitharaman continued with the tradition she set in 2019, carrying the budget speech in a ‘bahi-khata’, which she used after ditching the briefcase. She kept a digital tablet in a red ‘bahi khata’ style pouch.

The economy is projected to expand by 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal year, as per official estimate.


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