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Union Budget 2023: Halwa ceremony to be held on January 26

Union Budget 2023 Halwa Ceremony

Halwa Ceremony: On January 26, a traditional “Halwa” ritual will be held to commemorate the completion of the Budget planning process. The Halwa ceremony occurs five days before Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, delivers the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2023–2024 on February 1.

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What is Halwa Ceremony?

The preparation and serving of the traditional dessert, known as halwa, to representatives and employees of the finance ministry who worked on the Budget is a yearly rite known as the Halwa ceremony. The finance minister and other senior officials attend it every year, which is held at the Finance Ministry’s offices in the basement of the Secretariat building in New Delhi, the nation’s capital.

How Halwa Ceremony is organized?

  • The finance minister typically starts the festivities by stirring a kadhai or cauldron full of halwa before serving it to colleagues.
  • The Halwa ceremony is thought of as a method to express gratitude to those who worked on the Budget, a lengthy process. Additionally, it prepares the groundwork for the “lock-in” period that comes before the Budget presentation.

Union Budget 2023 Halwa Ceremony: Highlights

  • The Finance Ministry’s administrative centre transforms into a sort of “Fort Knox” in order to preserve the confidentiality of the Budget. To prevent information from leaking, officials who are working on the budget “lock in” at their offices and segregate themselves under rigorous guidelines. During this time, phone calls are monitored, employees are not permitted to leave the building, and they are required to remain under the watchful eye of CCTV cameras and the Intelligence Bureau.
  • The North Block’s basement, which also contains the special printing press that produced the Budget documents from 1980 to 2020, has been the site of the Halwa ceremony for decades.
  • But starting in 2020, the Budget is now delivered digitally. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, will once again present the budget digitally.

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