New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman, the country’s first full-time woman Finance Minister, presents her maiden Union Budget shortly but she had everyone’s curiosity piqued from the get-go. For starters, Sitharaman held a bahi-khata instead of a briefcase. (Catch LIVE Updates of Union Budget 2019 Here) Also Read - Tax On Black Fungus Medicine Waived, 5% GST on Vaccine To Stay

Interestingly, Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian explained how a traditional bahi-khata stood for moving away from slavery in our western thoughts. Here’s a guide to the traditional bahi-khata: Also Read - New Income Tax Website Faces Technical Glitches, Sitharaman Tags Infosys, Nandan Nilekani on Twitter

Bahi-khata is what is popularly known as book-keeping. It is a traditional Indian way of book-keeping via double entry. Reports say India has been practising bookkeeping even before Europe. Also Read - Govt Announces Amnesty Scheme For GST Taxpayers, Allows Filing Of Returns With Reduced Late Fee

There are always two aspects of a business transaction: a receiving and a payable aspect. So in this system, a transaction is re-entered, one on the debit side, the recipient and the other on the credit side, due.

Since there is always a credit and debit aspect of each transaction, their number also matches, i.e; the total number of entries in credit and debit columns is the same. This ensures the accuracy of accounts.