Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley begins Budget process with halwa ceremony
The ritual 'Halwa Ceremony' was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the Ministry of Finance on Saturday. The annual ceremony is observed before the commencement of the process of printing of budget documents.
The ceremony marks the beginning of the printing of documents which are part of the Union Budget 2018-19. As part of the long-standing ritual, 'halwa' and served to the entire staff in the ministry.
After the Halwa ceremony, officials of finance ministry will stay in Budget Printing Press in North Block till Union finance minister Arun Jaitley budget speech is over.
At the Halwa Ceremony to mark the formal printing of the Union Budget 2018-19 documents. pic.twitter.com/cmQVNQbpVl— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 20, 2018
The annual budget is prepared by the budget division of Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) headed by the joint secretary (Budget) of the Ministry of Finance. To start the process, the budget division issues an annual budget circular every year.
To maintain complete secrecy about the budget documents, budget press in North Block houses all these officials in the period leading up to the presentation of Union Budget in the Parliament by the Finance minister.
Only after the Union Budget is presented, these officials will gain touch with their near and dear ones. Even journalists are banned from entering finance ministry during this period, except when some important announcements are to be made.
FM Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget in Parliament on February 1, 2018.