You are here: Home » Interim Budget 2019 » News
Business Standard

Interim Budget 2019: Halwa ceremony kickstarts document printing process

This will be the last Budget of the current BJP-led NDA government before the 2019 General Elections

Arun Jaitley  |  Direct Tax Code  |  Narendra Modi

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Interim Budget 2019 halwa ceremony
Union MoS for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla (2nd L) and Pon Radhakrishnan (3rd L) with the officials of his ministry taking part in the ‘Halwa Ceremony’ to mark the beginning of printing of budgetary documents, in New Delhi | Photo: PTI

A "halwa ceremony", the customary ritual that kickstarts the process of printing the budget documents, was held on Monday in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is away in the US for a medical check-up.

However, two Ministers of State for Finance - Pon Radhakrishnan and Shiv Pratap Shukla - and senior ministry officials were present at the ceremony in the basement of the ministry.

With this, officials involved in the preparation of the budget document can't leave the premises till the budget is presented in the Lok Sabha on the appointed day -February 1.

"Ministers of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan and Shiv Pratap Shukla shared halwa with the senior ministry officials, including the secretaries, to mark the ceremonial beginning of printing the Budget 2019 documents," a senior ministry official said.

Finance-cum-Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar and Disinvestment Secretary Atanu Chakraborty also shared the sweet dish.

"Officials and staff engaged with the printing of budget documents stay back and are not allowed to go home or contact their family members to maintain the secrecy of the budget. However, some very senior officials are allowed to go home," he said.

Jaitley is expected to return home from the US to present the interim budget (vote on account) on February 1, his last before the general elections in May. The Budget Session of the parliament will be held from January 31 to February 13.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, January 21 2019. 15:04 IST