New Delhi: Ahead of her maiden speech in the Parliament, country’s first full-time woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today departed from the tradition of keeping budget documents in a briefcase. She chose to hold a four-fold red cloth i.e; a bahi-khata instead.
In the pictures put up by news agency ANI, Sitharaman was seen holding budget papers neatly wrapped in a red cloth, bound with yellow ribbons. A logo of the Lion Capital was gleaming yellow and bright on the upper half of the folder.
Endorsing Sitharaman’s choice, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian called it “a departure from the slavery of Western thought”. “It is in Indian tradition. It symbolizes our departure from the slavery of Western thought. It is not a budget but a ‘bahi khata'(ledger),” he said.
Finance ministers in the past have carried hardbound leather briefcases.
The bahi-khata has been used primarily in Indian business set up, generally for maintaining accounts.