Halwa ceremony held on Monday to commence the printing of budgetary documents

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and senior officials of the finance ministry on Monday participated in the symbolic ‘Halwa Ceremony’ that marks the launch of formal printing of Budget 2020-21 documents.

Jan 21, 2020 06:01 IST India Infoline News Service

Halwa ceremony
The Finance Ministry, on Monday, held the "Halwa Ceremony" to mark the beginning of printing budgetary documents in New Delhi. The Halwa Ceremony is a famous ritual, which marks the start of the printing of the budget documents. Understandably, officials who are directly in contact with the budget papers and data are locked down in the basement of the North Block until the Budget is released, given that the papers are highly confidential. 

The ceremony held on January 20, 2020, was attended by top officials of the Ministry. 

The second Budget of the Modi 2.0 government will be presented on February 01, 2020.

As part of the ceremony, "halwa," a popular sweet dish, is prepared in a big pot and served to the entire staff of the ministry. The significance of the "halwa" is that after it is served, several officials and support staff directly associated with the preparation of the budget are locked in the Ministry and are required to cut off from their near and dear ones. The staff is not allowed to engage in any form of communication with the people outside. Only very senior officials in the finance ministry are allowed to go home.

However, in the premises, even the Finance Minister is not allowed to carry a mobile phone.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and senior officials of the finance ministry on Monday participated in the symbolic ‘Halwa Ceremony’ that marks the launch of formal printing of Budget 2020-21 documents.

Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey, and Expenditure Secretary T.V. Somanathan also attended the customary pre-Budget event.

This is the second full budget that will be presented by the Modi Government. The last one was presented on July 5, 2019. 

Amid the slowdown, India Inc. and the common man have a lot of expectations from this budget, particularly in terms of sops for specific sectors and personal income tax. Recently, news sources said that PM Narendra Modi personally interacted with industry stakeholders to understand their expectations.

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