The annual ritual ‘Halwa’ ceremony was hosted by the finance ministry on Monday afternoon at the North Block to mark the beginning of printing documents for Budget 2020. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, clerks and other officials of the ministry were present at the ceremony.
This customary ceremony is observed every year by the finance ministry before presenting the budget in the Parliament. The making of halwa marks the official beginning of events.
The Indian dessert, Halwa, is prepared in a big vessel and is served to the entire staff of the finance ministry as part of the ritual. It is a sweet gesture to recognize and acknowledge the staff members who have been a part of the budget-making and printing process.
What happens after the ceremony?
After the ceremony, the employees are moved to the basement of the North Block for around 10 days and they will remain there until the Finance Minister presents the budget in the Parliament. The staff members are not allowed to contact the outside world, even their families. This practice is followed to prevent any leaks before the annual budget is presented. It is done to maintain the secrecy of the entire budget process.