Budget 2020: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman kicked off the process of printing documents for the Union Budget 2020 by hosting a 'Halwa Ceremony' on Monday. Sitharaman along with other senior (finance) ministry officials and clerks observed the symbolic ritual at North Block.
The customary 'Halwa Ceremony' is observed every year by the respective finance minister to mark the beginning of the process of printing the documents pertaining to the budget.
This tradition of hosting a halwa ceremony is observed a few days before the budget is presented as it marks the official beginning of events.
The Indian dessert is prepared in a big 'kadhai' (vessel) and is served to the entire staff of the finance ministry. After this ceremony, several officials and support staff of the ministry are locked down 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 (through phone or any other form of communication) their families in the run-up to the budget day.
This is done to maintain the secrecy of the entire budget process and ensure that there is no leak of information before its (budget) presentation.
The Union Budget 2020 will be presented by the finance minister at a time when India's GDP has dipped to a six-year low amidst a consistent slowdown in the economy as well as weak demand.
According to the Lok Sabha calendar, FM Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2020 on February 1.