India has had 25 finance ministers since Independence in 1947 who have presented and passed in Parliament 83 Budgets — both interim and annual — so far.
Following the Second General Elections, the full Budget 1957-58 paved for the setting up the country’s three major steel plants and financial institutions like IDBI, ICICI and UTI.
Wealth tax, tax on expenditure and tax on railway passenger fee were also introduced for the first time in this Budget. Presenting this budget on May 15, 1957, T.T. Krishnamachari said that it was felt that income as defined by the Income Tax laws and practice in use at the time was an insufficient measure of tax paying capacity creating the need for taxation based on wealth.
This, he said, was likely to be more equitable and hoped that over time it would lead to a reduction in the possibilities of tax evasion. Amongst other items he exempted from this levy were works of art and those archaeological collections that were not intended for sale.
The Ministry of Iron and Steel had been just set up. The Budget reported that the final project report for the first of the three steel plants which it has been decided to set up — that at Rourkela, had been approved and work at site was progressing
"It has been estimated that the average cost of carrying a postcard is 7.24 naye paise as against the present postage of 5 naye paise. This results in an annual loss of over Rs. 155 lakhs…. Government had appointed a Committee to examine the question of charging a concessional rate of postage on bonafide books as compared with other items chargeable as packets so that the cost of sending books to rural areas which could be reached only through Post Offices might not be unduly increased,” he said.
On taking charge from his predecessor C.D. Deskhmukh, Krishnamachari found that the calculations he had made in the budget for 1955-56 had gone awry. So, on November 30, 1956 in a five-thousand-word speech he presented the changed economic situation