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Letter to BS: Budget speech lasting 160 mins bound to fatigue the listener

One way to curtail the duration could be by changing the structure of the speech.

Business Standard 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, flanked by her deputy Anurag Thakur (L) shows a folder containing the Union Budget documents, at Parliament house in New Delhi (Photo-Sanjay.K.Sharma)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Photo-Sanjay.K.Sharma

This refers to the editorial “Beyond numbers” (February 5). A Budget speech could be terrible or terrific. It is believed that a speech should be limited to 45 words as this is “what a mind can handle in one sitting”. So a comment on the duration of the Budget speech will be relevant. Considering that this speech addresses different classes of people —Members of Parliament, experts, business community and masses — it is a challenge to stitch together a short speech, which holds the attention of all. Yet a speech lasting for about 160 minutes and with 1,325 words is bound to fatigue the listeners, if not the speaker.

One way to curtail the duration could be by changing the structure of the speech. The FM can briefly mention the main provisions of the Budget with short explanations in about 45-60 minutes and request the House to treat the entire Budget as read. The document could be uploaded immediately on the government portal. The main Budget speech, however, should be clear (fewer jargons), concise (yet covering all key points), complete (supported by reliable data and information) and if possible, interesting (using quotes).

Y G Chouksey, Pune


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First Published: Thu, February 06 2020. 22:09 IST
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