The preparations for the Union Budget 2020-21 are going on in full swing. The Annual Union Budget will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1st, 2020.
This year, the first phase of the budget session will run from January 31st to February 11th, 2020 and the second phase will be from March 2nd to April 3rd, 2020. The budget comes at the backdrop of the economic slowdown.
The Finance Ministry will be hosting its customary ‘halwa ceremony’ on January 20th, 2020. The ‘halwa ceremony’ marks the process of beginning of printing of documents related to the Union budget.
Sitharaman, along with MoS finance Anurag Thakur will attend the traditional halwa ceremony at the Finance Ministry. The officials and clerks will also be attending the ceremony at North Block.
The ‘halwa ceremony’ is organised by the Central government every year. The ‘halwa ceremony’ also recognises and lauds the efforts of each staff member who has contributed towards the making of the budget.
Halwa is a super easy and very popular Indian dessert recipe. It is prepared in a big kadhai (cauldron) and served to the entire staff members in the Finance Ministry.
Once the ‘halwa ceremony’ is completed, the team members of the budget-making process move to the basement of North Block for 10 days to ensure that there are no leaks.
The team members remain totally cut off from their families until the budget is presented by the Minister in the Lok Sabha. This group will emerge only after the Finance Minister officially presents the Budget.
Till 1950, the Budget was printed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Due to a leak, the printing venue shifted to a press at the Minto Road in New Delhi.
In 1980, a government press in the North Block’s basement became the permanent place for printing the Union Budget. The officials of the Finance Ministry stay in the press until the speech of Finance Minister is over.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 8th, 2020 asked people to offer their suggestion for the next fiscal budget. “The Union Budget represents the aspirations of 130 crore Indians and lays out the path towards India’s development,” Modi wrote on the microblogging site retweeting the Citizen engagement platform of Government of India’s post.
Photo credit: @FinMinIndia