The ceremony, which was performed at North Block here, marks the inauguration of the formal printing of different documents relating to the Union Budget for 2018-19.
The 'halwa ceremony' is observed to maintain the secrecy of the budget preparation process. As part of the ritual, which has continued for long, 'halwa' is prepared in a big 'kadhai' or wok and served to the entire staff in the ministry.
The significance of this is the commencement of printing of documents related to the budget. It is said that officials from the ministry are required to stay back at the printing press itself until the Budget is presented in Parliament, barring select senior officials.
Apart from Jaitley, those present at the ceremony were Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, MoS Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and others.