‘Lock-in’ period for budget starts with halwa ceremony

The halwa ceremony is a tradition performed every year ahead of the budget and signifies the official initiation of the printing process of various documents related to the budget

Vaageesh Thirumalai
First Published24 Jan 2024, 08:25 PM IST
New Delhi, Jan 24 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Halwa ceremony as the final stage preparations for the Interim Union Budget 2024 commences, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)
New Delhi, Jan 24 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Halwa ceremony as the final stage preparations for the Interim Union Budget 2024 commences, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)(Ministry of Finance-X)

The traditional 'halwa ceremony' was held in the North Block on Wednesday to mark the beginning of the compilation of documents for the Budget 2024.

Finance minister Niramala Sitharaman, and Union minister of state for finance Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad were present at the ceremony.

The finance minister will present the Budget on 1 February.

The halwa ceremony is a tradition performed every year ahead of the budget and signifies the official initiation of the printing process of various documents related to the budget and serves as a formal ‘send-off’ for the ministry officials and staff engaged in preparing the Union government's annual financial statement.

Subsequently, the top officials involved with the budget enter a designated ‘lock-in’ period, isolating themselves within the ministry premises, cutting off from their families to preserve the confidentiality surrounding the final budget document.

Finance secretary T.V. Somanathan, economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth, secretary of Dipam Tuhin Kanta Pandey, revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra, CBIC chairman Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, CBDT chairman Nitin Kumar Gupta and other officers and staff of the ministry of finance, involved in budget preparation and compilation process, were also present on the occasion, an official release said.

The Budget documents will be available on the “Union Budget Mobile App" on both the Android and Apple OS platforms after the completion of the budget speech by the finance minister in Parliament.

The Budget 2024 is going to be a vote on account rather than a full Budget as the general elections are due in April-May of 2024.

As part of the ceremony, Sitharaman also took a tour of the Budget Press and reviewed the preparations besides extending her best wishes to the officials concerned, the finance ministry statement added.

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First Published:24 Jan 2024, 08:25 PM IST
HomeEconomy‘Lock-in’ period for budget starts with halwa ceremony

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