New Delhi: The process of printing documents for the Interim Budget 2019 began on Monday with the ritual 'halwa ceremony', which was attended by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, Secretary DEA Subash Garg and MoS Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan.
As part of the ritual, which has continued for long, 'halwa' is prepared in a big 'kadhai' (large frying pot) and served to the entire staff in the ministry.
The significance of the sweet dish 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.
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.
The Budget will be the sixth consecutive Budget of the present NDA government and it is scheduled to be unveiled in Parliament on February 1.