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Budget Printing starts with “halwa” ceremony

New Delhi: Budget 2016-17 document printing process started with halwa ceremony ritual today.
It was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his deputy Jayant Sinha.
As per the ritual ‘halwa’ is prepared in a big ‘kadhai’ (large frying pot) and served to the entire staff in the ministry

Finance Secretary Ratan Watal, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Economic Affairs Secretary and other officers and staff of the ministry involved with Budget preparation were also present.

The significance of the sweet dish is that after it is served, a large number of officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making and printing process, are made to stay in the ministry and to cut off any kind of contact with their families till the presentation of the Budget by the minister in the Lok Sabha.

They are not even allowed to contact their near and dear ones through phone or any other form of communication, like e-mail. Only very senior officials in the Finance Ministry are permitted to go home.

“Halwa ceremony today in Budget press of Finance Ministry marks the beginning of Budget printing process,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted.

Around 100 officials involved in the printing of the Budget will remain “locked” in the North Block office till the presentation of Budget on February 29.

The first Budget of Independent India was presented by R K Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947.