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    Indians Cheer as Modi Government Budget Marks End to British Colonial Tradition with ‘Bahi Khata'

    © AFP 2019 / PRAKASH SINGH
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): In a novel move, suggesting that India was doing away with the decades-old tradition of presenting annual budgets the "British way", Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, carried and presented the budget to Indian parliament as a "Bahi Khata" (ledger).

    The latest move marked a big step in the direction of shunning the stamp of British colonialism on the annual budget presentation and embracing India’s way of doing things. British tradition calls for the Finance Minister to carry the annual budget in a ‘Briefcase’ before it is presented before the House of Commons, British parliament.

     The innovation was hailed by the Twitterati, as the ‘Bahi Khata’ wrapped in traditional red-cloth was presented on Friday by Finance Minister Sitharaman to parliament. The budget was in a red cloth folder carrying a shimmering Indian national emblem on top of it.

    ‘Bahi Khata’ or, the ledger is an ancient system of maintaining record of all monetary or non-monetary transactions.

    The move has won heaps of praise by netizens, many of whom have called this move as finally getting over the colonial British hangover in the parliament.

    Prior to Sitharaman, Indian finance ministers carried the budget in briefcases of various colours, a tradition which was started in 1860 by the British colonial government’s Budget Chief William E. Gladstone.

    Even after India got its independence in 1947, Indian Finance Ministers continued to maintain the ‘Briefcase’ tradition.

    Indian Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian has said replacing the British style ‘Budget briefcase’ with the native Indian Bahi Khata is a move to restore Indian traditions in Parliament.

    "It is in Indian tradition. It symbolizes our departure from the slavery of Western thought. It is not a budget but a 'Bahi Khata'(ledger)," Subramanian was quoted as saying to media outlets.

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