Drabu breaks from past; abandons the briefcase

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Unlike his predecessors, the new JK finance minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu Sunday breaks free from past by abandoning the bag, which on Budget Day every finance minister is seen carrying.

Drabu entered the House with a simple envelope.

Pertinently, the Budget Day is the day when a government presents its budget to a legislature for approval, typically in a ceremonial fashion. Every finance minister is seen holding a briefcase before entering into the house.

The briefcase is now perhaps the most notable throwback of the entire exercise. The practise has its origin in France.

The French “bougette” or “small bag” was once considered sufficient to hold an individual’s wealth. Also materially, the red briefcase  has held the British budget papers on almost every Budget Day since 1860.

Unlike in Britain, however, there is no single briefcase being passed on from one Indian finance minister to the next.

The practise over the years picked up in Kashmir as well where the erstwhile finance minister like Abdul Rahim Rather would enter the house with briefcase and thereby maintaining it a tradition.

By entering the House with envelope instead of a briefcase, Dr Drabu has seemingly sent out signals that he is likely to offer something ‘different’ on his platter.

Also, he presented his Budget mostly in English unlike entirely in Urdu by his predecessors, though in between, he used Urdu.

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