The Halwa Ceremony, marking the final stage of the Budget making process for this year’s Budget was held in the North block on Saturday(23.01.2021) in the presence of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. This customary ceremony is performed every year before the lock-in process of the Budget starts.
This year for the first time in history, the Budget will be delivered in a paperless form due to COvid-19 pandemic. The Union budget for 2021-2022 will be presented on 01.02.2021.
During the Halwa ceremony, Mrs Sitharaman also launched the Union Budget Mobile App to provide hassle-free access to Budget documents to MPs and the general public. Through the app, people can access 14 Budget documents like Annual Financial Statement, Demand for Grants, Finance Bill, etc.
The app is bilingual and is available on iOS and android platforms. The app has features like zoom in and out, bidirectional scrolling, table of contents, external links, downloading, printing, and search. To download the app, people can visit the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in) as well.
The National Informatics Centre developed the application with guidance and directions from the Department of Economic Affairs.
Access to documents will be available after the completion of Budget Speech on 01.02.2021.
Various other ministers and officials were also present at the Halwa ceremony, and after the ceremony was complete, the Finance Minister reviewed the status of the Budget.