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Ahead of Union Budget, traditional ‘halwa ceremony’ held at finance ministry; Nirmala Sitharaman launches mobile app – Business News , Firstpost


For the primary time in India, the Union Budget 2021 might be paperless within the view of the coronavirus outbreak

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, together with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur, in the course of the Halwa ceremony on 23 February. PTI

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and senior officers of the finance ministry on Saturday participated within the symbolic ‘Halwa Ceremony’ that marks the start of compilation of price range paperwork.

Unlike the previous, the voluminous price range paperwork is not going to be printed this yr following the COVID-19 protocol and can as a substitute be distributed electronically to the Members of Parliament (MPs). Previously, the ceremony marked the launch of printing train for the price range.

This would be the first time because the presentation of unbiased India’s first price range on 26 November, 1947, that the paperwork containing revenue and expenditure assertion of the Union authorities together with the finance invoice, detailing new taxes and different measures for the brand new monetary yr, is not going to be bodily printed.

“In an unprecedented initiative, Union Budget 2021-22 will be delivered in paperless form for the first time. The Union Budget 2021-22 is to be presented on 1 February, 2021,” the Finance Ministry mentioned in an announcement.

On the event, the Finance Minister additionally launched the ‘Union Budget Mobile App’ for trouble-free entry of Budget paperwork by Members of Parliament (MPs) and most of the people utilizing the best type of digital comfort.

The mobile utility facilitates full entry to 14 Union Budget paperwork, together with the Annual Financial Statement (generally often called Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill and so on. as prescribed by the Constitution, it mentioned.

Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj, Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda, DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Expenditure Secretary T V Somanathan and Chief Economic Adviser Okay V Subramanian and different senior concerned within the Budget preparation and compilation course of, had been additionally current within the customary pre-Budget occasion.

“Later, the finance minister reviewed the status of the compilation of the Union Budget 2021-22 and extended her best wishes to the officials concerned,” it mentioned.

The assertion additional mentioned that the App has a consumer-pleasant interface with embedded options of downloading, printing, search, zoom out and in, bidirectional scrolling, desk of contents and exterior hyperlinks, and so on.

The App can be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in), it mentioned, including, the App has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) underneath the steerage of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

The Budget paperwork might be obtainable on the Mobile App after the completion of the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister in Parliament on 1 February.

As half of the ritual, ”halwa” is ready in an enormous ”kadhai” (giant frying pot) and served to your complete employees concerned within the Budget making the train of the ministry.

Halwa was served whereas sustaining COVID protocol with all current in masks and people distributing sweets had been sporting gloves.

The significance of the occasion is that after the candy dish is served, a big quantity of officers and assist employees, who’re instantly related to the Budget making are required to remain within the ministry and stay lower off from their households until the presentation of the Budget within the Lok Sabha.

They usually are not even allowed to contact their close to and expensive ones by way of telephone or every other type of communication, like e-mail.

This would be the first time since independence that bodily copies of Budget paperwork is not going to be shared with MPs to keep away from the chance of COVID-19 an infection, the sources mentioned, including all MPs will get tender copies of the Budget and Economic Survey.

The acquainted sight of vans loaded with price range papers in Parliament on the price range day and scanning of these by the safety guard may also be given a miss.

The Budget for FY22 will come in opposition to the backdrop of an financial contraction of 7.7 per cent, the primary time within the historical past of unbiased India. So, all stakeholders have nice expectations from the upcoming Budget, which may present a therapeutic contact to the pandemic-battered financial system and push development.

Even Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman final month promised a ‘by no means earlier than’ like Union Budget to the folks of India.

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