Halwa Ceremony : Before The Annual Budget Presentation
The Union Finance Minister participated in the ‘Halwa Ceremony’ recently, a tradition observed before the annual budget presentation.
- Halwa Ceremony is a tradition performed every year ahead of the budget and signifies the official initiation of the printing process of various documents related to the budget.
- It involves the preparation of the traditional dessert ‘halwa’ in a massive kadhai (wok), which is then served to all those who are directly associated with the budget-making process.
- The finance minister gives the go-ahead by stirring the kadhai and serving the sweet to officials.
- It takes place in the basement of the Finance Ministry’s North Block in Central Delhi, where a special printing press is located.
- It serves as a formal ‘send-off’ for the ministry officials and staff engaged in preparing the Union government’s annual financial statement.
- Subsequently, the top officials involved with the budget enter a designated ‘lock-in’ period, isolating themselves within the ministry premises and cutting off from their families to preserve the confidentiality surrounding the final budget document.
- The officials are required to stay in the Finance Ministry till the finance minister finally presents the budget.