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Interim Budget 2024: Who holds the record for delivering longest budget speech?

During the 2020 Union Budget on February 1, Sitharaman initiated her presentation at 11 am and continued until 1:40 pm, impressively speaking for two hours and 42 minutes.

Interim Budget 2024: Who holds the record for delivering longest budget speech? AJR
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First Published Feb 1, 2024, 11:03 AM IST

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on Thursday (February 1) present the interim budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, marking the last budget of the Narendra Modi government before the Lok Sabha elections. While the budget speech holds immense significance, it shpuld be noted that Nirmala Sitharaman herself holds the record for delivering the longest budget speech.

During the 2020 Union Budget on February 1, Sitharaman initiated her presentation at 11 am and continued until 1:40 pm, impressively speaking for two hours and 42 minutes. Her speech was truncated due to health concerns, with only two pages remaining. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stepped in to complete the rest of the budget reading.

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In her first budget speech for the year 2019-2020, Sitharaman spoke for two hours and 17 minutes. In 2022, her speech lasted for one and a half hours, making it her shortest-ever budget presentation.

It should be noted that the record for the most words in a budget speech belongs to Manmohan Singh, who delivered an 18,650-word speech in 1991 during his tenure as the Finance Minister of the Narasimha Rao government. Singh's speech included pivotal announcements related to the liberalisation of the Indian economy. In 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's speech comprised 18,604 words.

Conversely, the shortest budget speech was in 1977 by Finance Minister Hirubhai Mulljibhai Patel, with only 800 words.

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