If you ran a business & your clients ranged from large corporations, high net-worth individuals, and foreign investors to the struggling farmers, migrant labourers, and regional communities - would you be able to serve them all?
This is the classic problem the Government faces when it decides on its Annual Budget every year. Of course, the Indian Government isn’t alone in this - almost all modern day nations follow a similar routine, though their timing can vary.
In fact, this used to be done in even the ancient Maurya Empire that was founded (in 3rd century BC) by Chandragupt Maurya with the help of his advisor Vishnugupt - popularly known as Chanakya.
Chanakya, in his now famous political & socio-economic treatise “Arthashastra”, defined
a well-structured financial system that estimated, tracked, and accounted the revenue & expenses of the entire kingdom.
AFAIK, this is the first recorded instance of an “annual budget” for an entire kingdom/nation. Interestingly, this followed the Mauryan calendar, which was 354 days long!
The modern day “Budget” has its origins
in 18th century Britain, when the term was used to (satirically) describe a speech made by the then British PM & Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The word, which actually has Latin roots meaning “small pouch” or “bag”, usually of leather, was used to depict the British minister opening his bag to take out documents relating to the finances of the nation.
Over the years since then, this word has come to be associated with this new financial meaning - as a “statement of likely expenditures and revenues”.
Interestingly, the current FM Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the tradition of FMs carrying a “briefcase” last year, when she entered Raisina Hill for her maiden budget speech carrying a red cloth bag instead
! So much for leather pouches and bags!