Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, Morarji was the Deputy Prime Minister… Why was the Union Budget of 1968-69 special?

New Delhi: This picture is from 1968. This is a picture of Morarji Desai with Indira Gandhi. Then Indira was the Prime Minister and Morarji was the Deputy Prime Minister. Morarji also had the additional charge of the Finance Ministry. That is, he was also the Finance Minister. This is the picture before the Union Budget was presented on February 29 that year. The budget of 1968-69 was unique in many ways. This day was also Morarji Desai’s birthday. In 1964 too, Desai presented the budget on his birthday. He holds the record of presenting the budget 10 times for the most number of times. The 1968 budget was described as ‘the common man’s budget’. This is one of the few budgets that are different. The conditions at that time were very challenging. The country was reeling under the impact of drought. There was a shortage of food. Due to rising prices, the condition of the people was miserable. Morarji made many such provisions in this budget which brought relief to the people. People have similar expectations from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the Budget 2023 is due to be presented on February 1. This will be the last full budget of the second term of the Modi government before the 2024 general elections.

Changes have been made in the assessment rules
In 1968, Morarji Desai changed the assessment rules for the Excise Department. Many complaints were received from manufacturers in this regard. He started a self-assessment system. Through this, confidence was expressed in the producers.

Nehru, Indira, Rajiv… Prime Ministers who presented the Union Budget
In the 1968 budget, Desai had projected an income of Rs 3,132 crore for the financial year. This has been calculated on the basis that excise duty may increase by Rs 86 crore. He expressed confidence that the government would achieve this target of revenue generation.

Indira Gandhi

‘Spouse Allowance’ has been abolished
Then Desai withdrew the ‘spouse allowance’. He also said that it is not right for an outsider to decide who should be relied upon in the case of husband and wife being tax payers.

Indira Gandhi apologized to cigarette smokers when she presented the budget!
Desai was not in favor of budget deficit. However, he had estimated that there might be a revenue deficit of Rs 300 crores in the financial year 1968-69. He pointed out that the reason for this was the overdraft of 113 crores by the states.

The then finance minister had given relief to the people by classifying short-term capital gains as gains. Such gains on sale of a capital asset within 24 months of purchase are then called short-term capital gains.

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