Congress Finance Minister in Future Will Carry Budget Documents in iPad, Says Chidambaram
Nirmala Sitharaman, the country's first full-time woman finance minister, did away with the traditional brown briefcase and carried the documents in a traditional four-fold red cloth, the kind often seen in the hands of Indian traders and also used to wrap religious texts.
File photo of Congress senior leader P Chidambaram (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for carrying the Budget papers in a four-fold red cloth bag instead of the ‘colonial’ briefcase, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said a minister from his party in the future would bring along the documents in an iPad.
“Take it from me, our Congress's finance minister in the future will bring an iPad,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying. As the former finance minister, Chidambaram has presented eight Union Budgets.
India's first full-time woman finance minister on Friday did away with the traditional brown briefcase that all of her male counterparts have used to carry the Budget documents in. Instead, she carried a traditional four-fold red cloth, the kind often seen in the hands of Indian traders and also used to wrap religious texts.
Red-coloured bahi-khata (ledger) notebooks are considered auspicious for money matters in Indian traditions and the traders keep their account files in these notebooks to bring in prosperity and as a means to worship the goddess of wealth.
Seen since the independence of the country, finance ministers have carried a “briefcase” outside the parliament and posed for photographers before delivering the Budget speech. The tradition began when the country’s first finance minister, R K Shanmukham Chetty, presented the first ever Budget in the Parliament on November 26, 1947.
Chief Economic Adviser K Subramanian reportedly said it symbolised a “departure from the slavery of Western thought”.
“While the finance minister claimed that we have reduced NPAs (non-performing assets) by Rs 1 lakh crore, she should have also said that in the same period, banks have written off Rs 5,55,603 crore. I don’t know why she didn’t say that,” Chidambaram added.
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