New Delhi, Jan 24,2024: The Halwa ceremony, marking the final stage of the preparation process for Interim Union Budget 2024, was held in North Block on Wednesday in the presence of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Dr. Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad.
The customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the “lock-in” process of Budget preparation begins after which officials associated with the budget making exercise are not allowed to leave North Block.
Like the previous three full Union Budgets, the Interim Union Budget 2024 will also be delivered in paperless form. It is to be presented on February 1, the Finance Ministry said.
All the Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants, Finance Bill etc. as prescribed by the Constitution, will be available on the “Union Budget Mobile App” for easy access of Budget documents by MPs and the general public, according to a Finance Ministry statement.
The documents will be published both in English & Hindi and will be available on both Android and iOS platforms. The App can also be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in).
The Budget documents will be available on the Mobile App after the completion of the Budget Speech by the Union Finance Minister in Parliament on February 1.
At the halwa ceremony, the Finance Minister was also accompanied by senior officials including Finance Secretary & Secretary, Expenditure, T.V. Somanathan, Secretary, Economic Affairs, Ajay Seth, Secretary, DIPAM Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Revenue, Sanjay Malhotra, Chairman, Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT), Nitin Gupta, and Chairman, Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Sanjay Kumar Agarwal.
As part of the ceremony, the Union Finance Minister also took a round of the Budget Press and reviewed the preparations besides extending her best wishes to the officials concerned.