Union Budget 2021 will go fully paperless for the first time with a dedicated Union Budget app for Android and iOS smartphones. The dedicated apps are available to download for free via Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and the latest documents will be available to access after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget presentation on February 1. The government had announced the launch of the Union Budget mobile app during the symbolic 'Halwa Ceremony' that marks the beginning of compilation of budget documents, earlier this month. The mobile app is compatible with smartphones running Android v5 and above or iOS v10 and above.
The Union Budget app appears to be an extension of the Union Budget website that allows users to access previous and latest budget-related documents along with the Finance Minister's speech. Additionally, MPs will too be provided with a digital version of the Budget documents to align with COVID-19 protocols, the government announced during the 'Halwa' ceremony. The central government had added that the Union Budget 2021 would go fully paperless for the first time since the presentation of independent India's first budget on November 26, 1947. As expected, the app will include documents containing income and expenditure statements along with the finance bill, tax information, among many more. The Union Budget app for Android and iOS is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
The Union Budget app consists of 14 Budget-related documents, including the constitutionally prescribed Annual Financial Statement (AFS) alongside Demands for Grants (DG), Financial Bill, Receipts, and more. The central government says that the documents will be available in Hindi and English - all in an "eco-friendly" manner. "This initiative is aimed at providing Union Budget information to various stakeholders including general public at the click of a button," the official app description reads. User can also download the app from the Union Budget website that will essentially redirect them to its dedicated Google Play Store or Apple App Store page. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last month promised a unique Union Budget to the people of India. The ministry is expected to reduce taxes on routers, modems and other internet accessories to enable work-from-home.