Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam is set to present the State Budget in the Assembly for the 10th time on February 14.
While no one has come anywhere close to Mr. Panneerselvam’s record as far as the last 20 years are concerned, he is still behind three others, if one takes into account the presentation of State Budgets since 1952.
Barring a 6-month period in 2017 when he was not part of the Cabinet, Mr. Panneerselvam has served as Finance Minister since May 2011.
In March 2017, it was Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar who presented the Budget in the Assembly as he was also holding the finance portfolio at the time.
C. Subramaniam, who handled the subject in the Ministries headed by C. Rajagopalachari and K. Kamaraj during 1952-62, and V.R. Nedunchezhiyan, who was the Finance Minister for 12 years (1980-87 and 1991-96) in the Cabinets headed by M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa, had presented 14 State Budgets each.
In March 1976, the former, who had by then become the Union Finance Minister, got a rare opportunity to submit the State Budget in Parliament, as Tamil Nadu was under the President’s rule following the dissolution of the Assembly two months earlier.
Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who held the Finance portfolio during 1970-76, 1989-91 and 1996-2001, had presented the Budget in the Assembly 13 times.