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Big words in the budget speech
February, 08th 2010

The finance ministers budget speech may be ridden with jargon, but its core is no different from that of a household budget. ET is publishing a 10-part series to help readers make sense of all the big words in the budget speech and the bulky documents that come with it. The glossary is arranged in a particular order to ensure that no unexplained word jumps out suddenly.


This is the last word on the governments receipts and expenditure for the financial year, presented to Parliament. This is actually the annual budget, as stated in the Constitution. Divided into three parts Consolidated Fund, Contingency Fund and Public Account it has a statement of receipts and expenditure of each. Expenditure from the Consolidated Fund and Contingency Fund requires the nod of Parliament.


The governments lifeline. It contains all revenues, money borrowed and receipts from loans it has given. All government expenditure is made from this fund.


As the name suggests, any urgent or unforeseen expenditure is met from this Rs 500 crore fund, which is at the disposal of the President. The amount withdrawn is returned from the Consolidated Fund.


When it comes to this account, the government is nothing more than a banker, as this is a collection of money belonging to others such as public provident fund.


The budget has to distinguish all receipts/expenditure on revenue account from other expenditure. So all receipts in, say, the consolidated fund, are split into Revenue Budget (revenue account) and Capital Budget (capital account), which include non-revenue receipts and expenditure.


All receipts like taxes and expenditure like salaries, subsidies and interest payments that do not entail sale or creation of assets fall under the revenue account.


Capital account shows all receipts from liquidating (eg. selling shares in a public sector company) of assets and spending to create assets (lending to receive interest).


The government has to prepare a Revenue Budget (detailing revenue receipts and revenue expenditure) and a Capital Budget (capital receipts and capital expenditure).

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