FM Arun Jaitley participates in ‘Halwa ceremony’, to mark beginning of Budget 2017 printing process

By: | Updated: January 19, 2017 9:46 PM

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley marked the beginning of the printing of 2017-18 Budget documents with 'Halwa Ceremony' in New Delhi.

FM Arun Jaitley participated in the preparation of 'Halwa' and ate it with senior officials of the ministry. (Twitter)FM Arun Jaitley participated in the preparation of ‘Halwa’ and ate it with senior officials of the ministry. (Twitter)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley marked the beginning of the printing of 2017-18 Budget documents with ‘Halwa Ceremony’ in New Delhi. Taking forward the ritual, Jaitley participated in the preparation of ‘Halwa’ and ate it with senior officials of the ministry followed by a discussion, here on Thursday. It was later served to the entire staff in the ministry. After Halwa Ceremony, more than 100 officials of the ministry stayed in Budget Printing Press for the Budget speech of Jaitley.

The ceremony is a part of the ritual, which has continued for long. It includes preparation of ‘halwa’ (a sweet dish) in a large ‘kadhai’ (frying pot) and served to the staffs associated with the ministry.

The significance of the ceremony 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 required to stay in the ministry and remain cut off from their families till the presentation of the Budget by the minister in the Lok Sabha.

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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.

FM Arun Jaitley at 'Halwa ceremony' marking the beginning of Budget printing process. (ANI)FM Arun Jaitley at ‘Halwa ceremony’ marking the beginning of Budget printing process. (ANI)

The “lock-in” which follows the ‘halwa ceremony’ is observed to maintain the secrecy of the Budget preparation process.

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