18:46 GMT03 March 2021
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    Independent India’s first budget was presented in 1947 by the country’s first finance minister, R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, who carried it in a leather case. In the years since, all finance ministers have customarily posed with a leather case before presenting the budget.

    India’s Union Budget 2021, set to be tabled in the Parliament in a paperless form for the first time, arrived at the Parliament with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, not in a conventional leather case but on a tablet.

    ​The Finance Minister broke away from the tradition of carrying budget papers to the Parliament in a bulky leather case in 2019 when she lugged her documents in a traditional cloth case, ‘bahi khata’. On Monday, she broke this tradition as well, as she posed with a tablet in a red case with the National Emblem embossed on the cover.

    ​The Finance Minister has also launched the “Union Budget Mobile App’’ for Members of Parliament and the general public to access budget documents.

    Making the Indian budget go digital is not the only first Sitharaman has been credited with. She is the first woman to present three financial budgets in the history of India. She had become the second woman in the history of independent India to present the Union Budget in 2019.

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