11,968.40-30.70
40,575.17-76.47
Market Watch
Economy

Guess the most used word in the Budget speeches

Budget wordsBCCL
1/13
Budget words
Frequency of key words used in the Budget speeches delivered between 1947 and 2016 gives a broad idea of the shifting priorities in economic policy through the decades.

We scanned every speech—from the very first delivered by RK Shanmukham Chetty in November 1947 to the last one by Arun Jaitley on Feb 29, 2016—to narrow down on 12 words, the usage of which shows changes in economic thinking.
FARMERS ARE FOREVERBCCL
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FARMERS ARE FOREVER
Agriculture and farmers are two evergreen areas of emphasis in budget speeches, even if for lip service only.
SERVICESBCCL
3/13
SERVICES
Underdog sector of economy for a long time, mention of services jumped after mid-1990s, as did its share in India’s GDP.
GLOBALISATIONBCCL
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GLOBALISATION
Going global was nobody’s business till the 1991 crisis forced open the economy. Mentions suddenly shot up after 2000
INDUSTRYBCCL
5/13
INDUSTRY
Another favourite of finance ministers, industry has often been the most used word, peaking at 80 mentions in 1967-68
PRIVATISATION
6/13
PRIVATISATION
Not one mention in ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s—the command & control era in which PSUs were ‘temples of modern India’
DIGITALBCCL
7/13
DIGITAL
First time the word appeared in budget was 1982-83—only once. In 2016-17, it was used 7 times. Premonition of demonetisaton?
EXCISE, CUSTOMSBCCL
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EXCISE, CUSTOMS
Reference to these taxes peaked in 1980s. Income and service taxes are now driving most of the incremental revenues
INFRASTRUCTUREBCCL
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INFRASTRUCTURE
Surprisingly, wasn’t talked about for the fi rst 30 years. It became a topic of discussion only in the 1990s. Explains the current mess
GSTBCCL
10/13
GST
Goods and Services Tax made its debut in Budget speech only in 2006-07. It’ll probably rule speeches for a few years
EDUCATIONBCCL
11/13
EDUCATION
Education, too, didn’t seem to be a priority till the 1980s. 1991-92 was a breakout year when the word found 18 mentions
HEALTHBCCL
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HEALTH
Interest in healthcare too picked up only in the 1980s. Focus on physical and social infrastructure came only after the 1990s
WOMENBCCL
13/13
WOMEN
Despite all the talk of gender budgeting, the word ‘women’ found very infrequent mention in Budgets till the 1980s
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