The Union Finance Minister participated in the ‘Halwa Ceremony’ recently, a tradition observed before the annual budget presentation.
Facts for Prelims
Halwa Ceremony: Commencing the Budget Printing 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.
- 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.
- 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