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About The Halwa Ceremony

Context:

The Union Finance Minister participated in the ‘Halwa Ceremony’ recently, a tradition observed before the annual budget presentation.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Halwa Ceremony: Commencing the Budget Printing Tradition

Annual Tradition:
  • The Halwa Ceremony is an annual tradition held prior to the budget presentation, symbolizing the official commencement of printing various documents related to the budget.
Rituals and Significance:
  • The centerpiece of the ceremony is the preparation of traditional sweet ‘halwa’ in a large kadhai, symbolizing the beginning of the budget-making process.
  • Finance Minister’s involvement: The Finance Minister actively participates by stirring the kadhai and serving the sweet to officials, marking the official start.
Location and Setting:
  • The ceremony occurs in the basement of the Finance Ministry’s North Block in Central Delhi, home to a specialized printing press.
Formal Send-Off:
  • The serving of halwa serves as a formal ‘send-off’ for ministry officials and staff actively engaged in preparing the Union government’s annual financial statement.
Lock-In Period:
  • Following the ceremony, top officials enter a designated ‘lock-in’ period, isolating themselves within the ministry premises.
  • This isolation aims to maintain confidentiality, with officials cutting off from their families during this crucial phase.
Secrecy and Confidentiality:
  • The officials are mandated to stay within the Finance Ministry until the Finance Minister presents the budget, ensuring utmost secrecy and confidentiality surrounding the final budget document.

-Source: The Hindu


 

February 2024
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