"Thus, a wise Collector General shall conduct the work of revenue collection … in a manner that production and consumption should not be injuriously affected … financial prosperity depends on public prosperity, abundance of harvest and prosperity of commerce among other things"
He invoked Lord Indra, the Hindu rain god, and prayed to the goddess of wealth Lakshmi in 2011:
"While, like last year, I seek the blessings of Lord Indra to bestow on us timely and bountiful monsoons, I would pray to Goddess Lakshmi as well. I think it is a good strategy to diversify one's risks."
In his last stint as finance minister in 2012, Mukherjee quoted Hamlet:
"I must be cruel only to be kind."
Perhaps the best way to explain that is to take a line popularised by Mary Poppins: "When everything goes well with the economy, we all share in the joy. However, when things go wrong, it is the finance minister who is called upon to administer the medicine." In other words, the finance minister's job is to tell you that there's no spoonful of sugar.
Text: Shashank Chouhan, Reuters
Image: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (C) smiles as he leaves his office to present the 2009/10 union budget in New Delhi on July 6, 2009.
Images courtesy: Reuters