Halwa ceremony held on Thursday as FM Sitharaman enters fifth stage of the Budget final stage

The Halwa ceremony is an annual ritual in which the traditional dessert 'halwa' is prepared and served to officials and staff members of the finance ministry who were involved in the preparation of the Budget. This ceremony to mark the beginning of the compilation and printing of documents relating to the Union Budget for 2023-24 was held on January 26th at the Finance Ministry's Budget Press inside North Block.

 

FM Nirmala Sitharaman is to present the Budget on February 1 her fifth straight Budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, like the previous two, Union Budget 2023-24 will also be delivered in paperless form.

 

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. Also, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha V. Nageswaran, Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta, Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Chairman  Vivek Johri, Additional Secretary (Budget) Ashish Vachhani and other officers and staff of Ministry of Finance, involved in the Budget preparation and compilation process, were present on the occasion.

 

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.

 

As we know the ceremony was curtailed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and instead sweets were distributed to the core staff. So this year, the customary 'halwa' ceremony, performed every year before the 'lock-in' process of Budget preparation begins, coincided with Republic Day.

 

The Budget documents will be available on the app after the completion of the Budget speech by the finance minister in Parliament 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 1st 2023.

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