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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Whatever happened to budget secrecy!

Whatever happened to budget secrecy!

Rajya Sabha TV, PIB’s Twitter handle were flashing budget proposals 10 minutes ahead of Chidambaram’s speech



New Delhi: The making of the Union Budget is supposed to happen under complete secrecy until the budget document is tabled in Parliament by the finance minister. The first time the world outside hears of various plans and proposals is when they are mentioned in the finance minister’s speech.

In preparation, nearly two months in advance, reporters are banned from North Block, whose corridors are closely guarded by closed-circuit cameras and intelligence bureau officials. A week before the budget, officials closely involved in the budget-making process are completely cut off from the outside world and the budget documents are printed at a printing press located in the basement of North Block.

However, the state-run Rajya Sabha television channel was flashing budget proposals around 10 minutes ahead of Chidambaram’s speech. The Twitter handle of the government’s official media agency—the Press Information Bureau (PIB)—was doing the same. Clearly, both agencies had access to budget documents on embargo, but flouted it.

The team of PIB officials tasked with preparing press releases in three languages—English, Hindi and Urdu—is more or less locked up till the finance minister finishes his speech. And the Union cabinet itself is shown a gist of the budget only 10 minutes before the Parliament meets on the day.

The PIB Twitter (@PIB_India) handle is followed by 44,193 people.

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Published: 28 Feb 2013, 02:24 PM IST
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