What is a Budget?

Indian constitution defines Budget as “The annual statement containing an estimate of all anticipated revenue and expenditure of the government for the coming financial year.”

In the hands of administration, the Budget is a record of the past performance, a method of current control, and a projection of future plans.

“Budget is a financial document of the government as presented to the Legislature and sanctioned by the Legislature.”

According to Dimock, “A Budget is a financial plan, summarising the financial experience of the past, stating a current plan and projecting it over a specified period of time in future.”

Taylor says, “Budget is a financial plan of government for a definite period.”

Origin of the term ‘Budget’ has been derived from a French word ‘Bougette’ meaning a leather bag used for carrying official papers. The Story goes that the term was used in its present sense for the first time in 1733 in a satire ‘Opening of the Budget’ directed against Walpole‘s financial plan for that year. In England the Chancellor of the Exchequer used to carry to the House of Commons a leather bag containing papers, on financial plans. He used to open his Budget i.e. the bag. Since then the term has been used for a financial statement of annual income and expenditure of the government.

In conclusion, the Budget is a statement of expected revenue and proposed expenditure for a year. It sets forth the procedure and manner in which the revenue is to be collected and the administration of expenditure is to be carried out.

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