The Halwa ceremony, marking the final stage of the Budget making process for Union Budget 2021-22, was held in North Block on Saturday in the presence of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the “lock-in” process of Budget preparation begins.
In an unprecedented initiative, Union Budget 2021-22 will be delivered in paperless form for the first time. The Union Budget 2021-22 is to be presented on 1st February, 2021.
On the occasion, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman also launched the “Union Budget Mobile App” for hassle-free access of Budget documents by Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public using the simplest form of digital convenience. The mobile App facilitates complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill etc. as prescribed by the Constitution.
The App has a user-friendly interface with embedded features of downloading, printing, search, zoom in and out, bidirectional scrolling, table of contents and external links, etc. It is bilingual (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 App has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the guidance of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
The Budget documents will be available on the Mobile App after the completion of the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister in Parliament on 1st February, 2021.
At the Halwa Ceremony, the Union Finance Minister was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur; Dr A.B. Pandey, Finance Secretary & Secretary (Revenue); Shri T.V. Somanathan, Secretary, Expenditure; Shri Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Economic Affairs; Shri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, DIPAM; Shri Debashish Panda, Secretary, Financial Services; Dr K.V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor; Shri Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary (Budget) and other officials of the Ministry.
Later, the Finance Minister reviewed the status of the compilation of the Union Budget 2021-22 and extended her best wishes to the officials concerned.