Edited By: Namit Singh Sengar
Last Updated: January 29, 2023, 12:16 IST
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Halwa ceremony on January 26, 2023 (Image: Ministry of Finance Twitter)
Budget 2023: A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the ‘lock-in’ process of Budget preparation begins.
The Ministry of Finance on January 26 announced the beginning of the final stage of Union Budget 2023-24 with Halwa ceremony.
A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the ‘lock-in’ process of Budget preparation begins.
However, in 2022, to mark the final stage of the Union Budget making process, sweets were provided to the core staff due to undergo ‘lock-in’ at their workplaces, instead of the Halwa ceremony in view of the prevailing pandemic situation.
What is the Halwa ceremony?
The Ministry of Finance organises the Halwa Ceremony every year a few days before the presentation of the Union Budget. It marks the commencement of the Budget printing process. It is held in North Block in the national capital in the presence of the Finance Minister and all those who are part of the process.
What is ‘lock-in’ in the Budget process?
‘Lock-in’ is a period of a number of days which exist to maintain the secrecy of the Budget. It is the ‘lock-in’ of the officials involved in making the Budget.
Budget Press, situated inside North Block in New Delhi houses all officials in the period leading up to the presentation of the Union Budget.
The basement of North Block houses a printing press that was traditionally used to print budget documents for 40 years from 1980 to 2020. Thereafter, the budget went digital with bare minimum documents printed and the bulk distribution happening via mobile app or on the website.
Going digital also meant that the lock-in period has gotten shorter to just five days from the previous one that lasted up to two weeks.
These officers and staff come in contact with their near and dear ones only after the Budget is presented by the Union Finance Minister in the Parliament.
From 2021-22, the Union Budget has been delivered in paperless form. A Union Budget Mobile App is also available for hassle-free access to the document.
When will the budget 2023 be announced?
The Union Budget for financial year 2023-24 will be announced in the Parliament on February 1, 2023 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Check Budget 2023 Updates Here.
Read all the Latest Business News here