The customary ‘Halwa Ceremony’ to mark the beginning of the compilation and printing of documents relating to the Union Budget for 2023-24 was held on Thursday at the Finance Ministry’s Budget Press inside North Block.
In a report by ANI, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of States for Finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and Pankaj Chaudhary were present along with other senior officials of the finance ministry.
The ceremony marks the final stage of compiling the Union Budget. The finance minister begins the ceremony by stirring the halwa in the kadhai and then serves it to colleagues at the ministry’s headquarters in the national capital.
To maintain the secrecy of the Budget, there is a “lock-in” of officials involved in making the Budget. These officers and staff come out of the North Block only after the Budget is presented in the Parliament.
Last year, the customary ceremony did not take place for the first time in view of the health and safety concerns of people over Covid fears.
Like the previous two Union Budgets, Union Budget 2023-24 will also be delivered in paperless form. The Union Budget 2023-24 is to be presented on February 1, 2023.
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 on February 1, 2023.
The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10.
Budget 2023 is likely to be the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term with the next Lok Sabha election due in April-May of 2024.