PRINTING BUDGET START WITH HALWA CEREMONY



The process of printing documents for the Budget 2014-15 started off today with the ritual 'halwa ceremony' which was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in North Block office. "Shri Arun Jaitley participated in the 'Halwa Ceremony' marking the beginning of printing of Budgetary documents," said a tweet by Press Information Bureau (PIB). It 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, cut off from their families till the presentation of the Budget by the minister in Lok Sabha.
They are not even allowed to contact their near and dear ones on phone or through any other form of communication, like email. Only very senior officials in the Finance Ministry are permitted to go home. The Budget, which will be the first of the present NDA government, is scheduled to be unveiled in Parliament on July 10. Interim Budget or vote-on-account was presented by the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram on February 17.
Those present at the halwa ceremony, included Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaramm, Joint Secretary (Budget) Rajat Bhargava and other officers and staff of the ministry involved with Budget preparation.

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