Budget 2020: All you need to know about the 'halwa ceremony'

The process of printing documents for the Budget 2020-21 will begin today with the ritual ‘halwa ceremony’. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, other officials of the ministry and clerks will be present at the ceremony which will be held at North Block.

‘Halwa ceremony’ has been a tradition which has continued for long. As part of the ritual, ‘halwa’ is prepared in a big ‘kadhai’ (vessel) and served to the entire staff in the ministry. The significance of the sweet dish is that after it is served, a large number of officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making and printing process, are required to stay in the ministry and remain cut off from their families till the presentation of the Budget by the finance minister in the Lok Sabha. They are not even allowed to contact their near and dear ones through phone or any other form of communication, like e-mail.

This is done to ensure that there are no leaks of information about the Union Budget before its presentation. The ceremony also recognises and lauds the efforts of every staff who have been a part of the budget-making process.

This year the Budget will be presented at a time when growth has dropped to a six-year low amidst a persistent slowdown in the economy and the weak demand.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget on February 1 at 11 am, according to the Lok Sabha calendar.

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Source: www.livemint.com

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