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Budget 2022 Going to be 'Paperless'; No Halwa Ceremony Amid Covid Fears. Know More

By: Business Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: January 28, 2022, 09:20 IST

Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2022 on February 1 in a paperless format

Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2022 on February 1 in a paperless format

The Union Budget 2022 -23 would also be available on the Mobile App after the process of Budget presentation has been completed on February 1 by finanace minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Budget 2022: India has been in the middle of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic for days now, fuelled by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and has been recording lakhs of cases since January. Amid fears of the third wave, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget 2022-23 in a paperless format like last year, the ministry of finance has said. Also, there will be no ‘Halwa’ ceremony, to curb the spread of the virus.

“The Union Budget 2022-23 is to be presented by the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February, 2022 in Paperless form," said the  finance ministry in a press release on Thursday, January 27.

“In a historic move, the Union Budget of 2021-22 was delivered in paperless form for the first time. A “Union Budget Mobile App” was also launched for hassle-free access of Budget documents by Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public. The Union Budget 2022 -23 would also be available on the Mobile App after the process of Budget presentation has been completed on 1st February 2022 in the Parliament," it added.

The Budget App allows complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, as per the government. This includes Sitharaman’s Budget speech, annual financial statement (commonly known as Budget), demand for Grants (DG), finance Bill and others, as prescribed by the Constitution.

“The mobile app is bilingual (English & Hindi) and is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The App can also be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in). The budget documents will also be available for download by the general public on Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in)," said the government in its press release.

The ‘Halwa’ ceremony was also done away with this year, and instead sweets were distributed to the staff to mark the ‘lock-in’ of the Budget documents.

“To mark the final stage of the Union Budget making process, sweets were provided to the core staff due to undergo “lock-in” at their workplaces, instead of a customary Halwa ceremony every year in view of the prevailing pandemic situation and the need to observe health safety protocols," said the finance ministry.

To maintain the secrecy of Budget, there is a “lock-in” of the officials involved in making the Budget. Budget Press, situated inside North Block, houses all officials in the period leading up to the presentation of the Union Budget.

These officers and staff will come in contact with their near and dear ones only after the Budget 2022 is presented by the Union finance minister in the Parliament.

The Union Budget 2022 will be presented on February 1, Tuesday, by Union  finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 11 am. The duration of the Budget presentation is likely to range from 90 minutes to 120 minutes.

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first published:January 28, 2022, 09:20 IST
last updated:January 28, 2022, 09:20 IST
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