Halwa ceremony 2021: The traditional 'Halwa ceremony' was held at the headquarters of the Union Ministry of Finance in North Block, New Delhi on Saturday 23 January, marking the final phase of the Budget 2021 process. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State Anurag Thakur, and other top officials attended the function. While the traditional halwa ceremony marks the beginning of the printing process of the government's budget document every year, this year the Union Budget 2021-22 will be paperless due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the first time in the history of independent India, the budget is distributed in paperless form.Pudding ceremony 2021 - important features
Every year after the budget presentation, the halwa ceremony recognizes the efforts of all staff members and officers who were part of the budget-making process. According to the ritual, a dessert or Indian dessert (halwa) is prepared in a large pot and Is given to the officials of the Ministry of Finance. The dessert is served to all those who are directly involved with the budget-making process.
The significance of the customary event is that once the sweet dish is served, officers and support staff are directly involved with the printing process and budget-making process and stay in the northern block of the finance ministry until the final presentation of the budget in Parliament Is required.After the pudding ceremony, officers who have moved to the North Block are required to remain disconnected from their families for about 10 days until the budget is presented, to ensure confidentiality of the budget statement and prevent any leaks. During this period only very senior officers in the Ministry of Finance are allowed to go home.The government decided to go paperless for the budget, as many people have to be on the press for a fortnight for the printing process. More than 100 people typically live in the basement of the North Block until the budget is presented. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this process cannot happen this year. The Union Budget 2021-22 will be distributed in paperless form for the first time on 1 February 2021 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.