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Briefcase dumped for bahi khaata

Briefcase dumped for bahi khaata
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End to slavery of western tradition

New Delhi : Setting a new precedent Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday was seen hugging the budget documents wrapped in a red cloth, the traditional 'bahi khaata' way, instead of the leather briefcase that until now her predecessors marched out with.

Chief Economic Advisor K. Subramanian said that it was a departure from "slavery of western tradition".

The red cloth symbolises the 'bahi khaata' traditionally used in every Indian business set-up to maintain accounts. Sitharaman was seen carrying the red cloth wrapped budget papers that was neatly bound with the auspicious yellow and red ribbon.

The Lion Capital shone brightly on top of the bahi khaata, as the first-time Finance Minister walked out of the North Block.

Until now all former Finance Ministers have carried their Budget Document in a hardbound leather briefcase that takes after the parallel British custom -- much like many of India's laws and Parliamentary practices.

Even Piyush Goyal, who presented the Interim Budget in February had carried a briefcase of colour and size of his choice and posed for the iconic photograph outside Finance Ministry and then Parliament building.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, while referring to Nirmala Sitharaman carrying the Budget 2019 in a bahi khata (traditional ledger), said that when Congress comes to power, the party's finance minister will carry the budget on an iPad.

The comment was a clear criticism of the current finance minister's departure from the traditional briefcase.

"Take it from me, our Congress's finance minister will in future bring an iPad," Chidambaram said.

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