‘Old political…sorry…polluting vehicles’: When FM Sitharaman’s slip of tongue left Parliament in splits

Budget 2023: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Lok Sabha, the last full budget before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

‘Old political…sorry…polluting vehicles’: When FM Sitharaman’s slip of tongue left Parliament in splits
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Ministers of State Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and Pankaj Chaudhary and officials poses for photographs outside the Finance Ministry at North Block, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget 2023-24. Sitharaman will be presenting her fifth Union Budget in Parliament. (PTI Photo)

Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman on Wednesday presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Lok Sabha of Parliament. The FM announced a slew of measures in her speech including a 33 per cent hike in capital expenditure to Rs 10 lakh crore and a 66 per cent hike in the allocation for the PM Awas Yojana to Rs 79,000 crore, among others.

However, a freudian slip by FM Sitharaman over 45 minutes into her speech left members from the Treasury as well as Opposition benches in splits.

“Vehicle replacement is an important continuing policy replacing the old political..err.. sorry… replacing old polluting vehicles.. May be applicable, right?” the FM said, much to the amusement of the Members present in the House.

This is the first Budget of Amrit Kaal,” Sitharaman said in her opening remarks, referring to the Modi government’s “New India” mantra. “The Indian economy is on the right track and heading towards a bright future. India’s global profile is rising due to world-class digital infrastructure and proactive role in frontier areas,” she said.

The FM said that the government will set up a national digital library for children and adolescents, re-frame teachers’ training through various programmes and begin fresh initiatives to promote research and innovation in pharma.

This is the last full budget that the government will present in the Budget before the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for 2024.

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First published on: 01-02-2023 at 12:17 IST