Budget 2020: FM Nirmala Sitharaman Is Back With Red 'Bahi Khata'

The bahi khata made its debut last year as Nirmala Sitharaman decided to ditch the traditional budget briefcase carried by her predecessors, pointing at the government's departure from the Western thought.

India   |   1 Feb 2020 6:11 AM GMT
Budget 2020: FM Nirmala Sitharaman Is Back With Red Bahi Khata

Image Credit: The Economic Times

Ahead of the Union Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was, once again, seen carrying the Budget papers for the financial year 2020-21 on Saturday, in a traditional red "bahi khata" or cloth ledger, which is a red silk cloth with the national emblem.

FM Sitharaman was seen in a yellow silk sari, holding the red cloth folder, as she met President Ram Nath Kovind before entering the parliament.

The bahi khata made its debut last year as Nirmala Sitharaman decided to ditch the traditional budget briefcase carried by her predecessors, pointing at the government's departure from the Western thought.

"Why did I not use a leather bag to carry budget documents? I thought it is high time we move on from the British hangover, to do something on our own. And well, easier for me to carry too," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the media last year.

"The government is following Indian tradition and the bahi khata symbolises our departure from the slavery of western thought," Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian had said.

The word "Budget" originates from the French "bougette" or leather bag, however, Subramanian had said: "It is not a Budget, but a bahi khata (ledger)."

According to him, FM Sitharaman believed that leather products were not auspicious for the occasion.

India's finance ministers had always carried briefcases that were red, black or brown, continuing the British tradition.

Former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, of the Congress, had last year mocked Sitharaman's choice of a bahi khata and said, "A Congress finance minister in future will bring an iPad."


Also Read: Budget 2019 Thrusts On Releasing India's Entrepreneurial Spirit

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