New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the longest budget speech by a finance minister in recent years. She spoke for two hours, 40 minutes and 16 seconds and there were still few pages left unread when she felt unwell and ended her speech.
Clad in a bright yellow sari with a light green border, Sitharaman recited a Kashmiri verse, quoted poets Thiruvalluvar and Kalidasa among others, and even reffered to the Saraswati-Sindhu civilization. Quoting late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi without taking his name, she said , "A former Prime Minister had once voiced a concern that the fruits of the welfare schemes were not reaching the intended citizens the common and deserving citizen was only receiving 15 paisa of every rupee sent for him."
Sitharaman's first budget speech in July 2019 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government returned to power in the Lok Sabha Elections was also long. It went on for around two hours and 17 minutes. This time, some of her remarks on the sucess of government schemes such as Beti bachao Beti Padhao prompted loud protests from the opposition benches. Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee termedn her projection of nominal GDP at 10% the "biggest joke".
After speaking for the aforsaid time she was too tired and unable to continue so she finally decided to cut short her speech and told Speaker Om Birla to consider the rest of the speech as read. As she sat in her seat, Trinamool Congress member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who is a doctor by profession , rushed to the finance minister to inquire about her health.
Soon after the House was adjourned, the PM walked upto her and greeted her. Before leaving the House.
Tags : #budget #2020 #finance minister