Union Budget: How long is the finance minister’s speech

NEW DELHI: The Union Budget speech is scheduled to start at 11 am on February 1 with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman beginning it with an address to the Lok Sabha speaker.
Usually, the duration of the presentation ranges from 90 to 120 minutes.
Sitharaman’s Budget 2020-21 speech was the longest in terms of duration in independent India’s history. It continued approximately for two hours 40 minutes.
With two pages still remaining, she had to cut short her speech as she felt unwell. She asked the Speaker to consider the remaining part of the speech as read.
In 2019 as well, Sitharaman had delivered a marathon budget speech that lasted 2 hours 17 minutes, going past Jaswant Singh’s record of two hours 15 minutes in 2003. Her speech in 2019 was peppered with Urdu, Hindi and Tamil couplets.
In terms of the number of words, in 1991, Manmohan Singh, then finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government, delivered the longest Budget speech so far, which comprised 18,650 words.
Sitharaman’s 2020 speech had 13,275 words. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away in 2019, holds the record for the second-longest speech comprising 18,604 words, delivered in 2018.
Jaitley’s Budget speeches in 2015 (18,122 words), 2018 (17,991 words) and 2014 (16,528) hold the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
The shortest speech award comprising just 800 words went to H M Patel in 1977 when he presented the interim budget.

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