Union Budget 2019: Discussions, Secrecy and President's Nod: How the Budget is Prepared
The process begins as early as August when a circular is sent to various ministries and departments. These then fill the circular with details of funds they need and the circular returns to the finance minister.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the presentation of the Union Budget.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the first full-time woman finance minister, will present her maiden budget on Friday. This is the first budget to be presented under the Narendra Modi government 2.0 after it got re-elected in recent Lok Sabha elections. Not just the Budget, the process of drafting the mammoth document is also an interesting one.
The process begins as early as August when a circular is sent to various ministries and departments. These then fill the circular with details of funds they need and the circular returns to the finance minister. In Round 2, officials meet industrialists, farmers, labour unions and other groups that contribute to the drafting of the document. The minister then chairs final meetings with stakeholders.
This is then followed by a strict procedure where officials, stenographers and technicians — anyone who has access to the details of the document — is quarantined in the North Block. A phone jammer is also installed to block calls and prevent leakages. The final act is the printing of the finance minister’s speech, which is printed at midnight in the basement of the North Block.
On the day of presentation, the Finance Minister takes permission from the President and then finally lays it out in the House.
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