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Budget 2023 | FM Nirmala Sitharaman performed the Halwa ceremony today, know what's it all about

Budget 2023 | FM Nirmala Sitharaman performed the Halwa ceremony today, know what's it all about

Budget 2023 | FM Nirmala Sitharaman performed the Halwa ceremony today, know what's it all about
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By Asmita Pant  Jan 26, 2023 4:27:58 PM IST (Updated)

According to the ritual, the halwa is prepared in a large wok and served to the officials of the finance ministry who are directly associated with the Budget.

The Halwa ceremony for Union Budget 2023-24 was held today, Jan 26, in the presence of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Ministry announced via twitter on Wednesday.

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The ceremony marks the end of Budget preparation process. Along with the FM, the ceremony was attended by the Union Ministers of State for Finance, along with Secretaries of the Ministry of Finance besides senior officials and members of the Union Budget Press.
The traditional halwa ceremony is held ahead of the Budget presentation every year in India and marks the commencement of the printing process of the official Budget document. The ceremony also recognises the efforts of every staff member who was a part of the budget-making process.
According to the ritual, the halwa is prepared in a large wok and served to the officials of the finance ministry who are directly associated with the Budget.
Once the dish is served, officials and other staff members are made to stay in the basement of the north block of the finance ministry till the Budget is not tabled in the Parliament to ensure secrecy. The people, usually around 100 in number, are cut off from their families as well for a period of around 10 days to ensure the secrecy of budget details and to prevent any leaks. Only senior officials are allowed to leave the north block.
Last year, amid fears of the Omicron variant, the customary pre-Budget ceremony was dropped for the first time. The ministry instead conducted a ceremony where sweets were provided to core staff due for a 'lock-in' at their workplace.
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