The customary halwa ceremony, which marks the final stage of the Union Budget-making process, is hosted every year by the Finance Ministry ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget on February 1. However, it won't be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"To mark the final stage of the Union Budget making process, sweets were provided to the core staff due to undergo lock-in at their workplaces, instead of a customary Halwa ceremony every year in view of the prevailing pandemic situation and the need to observe health safety protocols," the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Union Budget will again be presented in paperless form this year.
Besides, the Union Budget would be available on the “Union Budget Mobile App” after the process of Budget presentation has been completed in the Parliament. The mobile app allows complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Budget Speech, Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill etc. as prescribed by the Constitution. The mobile app is bilingual (English & Hindi) and is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
The Budget Session will commence on January 31 with the Presidential address at 11 am, followed by the laying of the Economic Survey.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget on February 1.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said: "1st part of the #BudgetSession to commence on 31st January, with the address of the Hon'ble President to both the Houses. On 1st February, Hon'ble FM @nsitharaman ji will present the Union Budget. To ensure Covid safety protocol, the two Houses of Parliament will function in shifts."
The Budget session of parliament will be held in two parts.
First part will be held from January 31 till February 11 and the second part will be held from March 14 to April 8.