Union Budget 2020: Halwa ceremony is a traditional ceremony, which the government organizes annually few days before the financial budget is presented in the parliament, marking the official kick-off of events. The Indian dessert is prepared in a huge wok and served among the staff of finance ministry. The Halwa ceremony is a tradition which was been followed for decades now and marks the sweet beginning of the budget preparation. It marks the printing of documents that are to be presented.
After the dessert is served, all the officials associated with the printing of budget are locked down in the basement of the North Block. The printing of the documents are done using a special printing press which is located there.
All the officials and staff directly related to Union budget are locked down and are constantly kept under surveillance to ensure the secrecy and prevent it from leaking. During this quarantine periods are not allowed to get in direct contact with anyone from outside the office. Even the Finance Minister is not allowed to carry the mobile phone inside the printing area.
Intelligence Bureau (IB) carries 360 degree surveillance along with CCTV cameras, network jammers and all the necessary security to ensure that no information leaked during the quarantine period. Only the Finance Minister is allowed to movie in and out of the building but the usage of mobile phones is prohibited even for the highest of officials. They are allowed get in contact with family members only after the budget is presented.
Till 1950, the Budget documents used to print inside Rashtrapati Bhawan, but due to the leaking of papers before the budget was presented that year, the printing of document was shifted to Minto Road. The printing of documents has been carried out in North Block basement since 1980.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the annual budget on 1st February, 2020. Stay tuned on sscadda.com for latest updates regarding Budget 2020.