Budget goes to print with Halwa ceremony

Lock-in period begins ahead of Feb 1 presentation

GN Bureau | January 21, 2020


#Nirmala Sitharaman   #finance ministry   #finance minister   #Union Budget   #parliament  
Finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman, MoS Anurag Singh Thakur and finance secretary Rajeev Kumar, among others, at the Halwa Ceremony at North Block on Monday.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman, MoS Anurag Singh Thakur and finance secretary Rajeev Kumar, among others, at the Halwa Ceremony at North Block on Monday.

The budget season is here, and the annual document has gone to print, beginning the lock-in period till its presentation in parliament on February 1.

The Halwa ceremony, marking the commencement of the budget printing process, was held in North Block Monday morning in the presence of finance & corporate affairs minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

To maintain the secrecy, there is a “lock-in” of the officials involved in making the budget. The ‘Budget Press’, situated inside North Block – the finance ministry headquarters, houses all officials in the period leading up to the presentation of the budget. These officers and staff will come in contact with their near and dear ones only after the budget is presented by the finance minister in parliament.

At the Halwa ceremony – the annual ritual going on for decades, Sitharaman was accompanied by minister of state for finance & corporate affairs Anurag Singh Thakur; Rajeev Kumar, finance secretary; Atanu Chakraborty, secretary, DEA; Dr AB Pandey, revenue secretary; Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, DIPAM; TV Somanathan, secretary, expenditure, among other officers of the ministry.

PC Mody, chairman, CBDT; John Joseph, chairman, CBIC; members of CBDT and CBIC; Rajat Mishra, joint secretary (budget), and others officers and staff of the ministry involved in the budget preparation and printing process were also present on the occasion. Later, the finance minister took a round of the press facility and acquainted herself with the budget printing process.

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