The Union Budget mobile app by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is now available to download via Google Play ahead of the official Union Budget presentation on February 1. The app was announced by the Finance Ministry last week during the symbolic 'Halwa ceremony' that marks the beginning of compilation of budget documents. The mobile that is 21MB in size works with Android smartphones running operating system version 5 and above. Its availability for iOS smartphones remains unclear at the moment.
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. The new app will too provide a paperless version of the Budget 2021 after the completion of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's speech on February 1. Additionally, MPs will too be provided with a digital version of the Budget documents to align with COVID-19 protocols. The government says that this will be the first time since the presentation of independent India's first budget on November 26, 1947, that the documents containing income and expenditure statement of the Union government along with the finance bill, detailing new taxes and other measures for the new financial year, will not be physically printed.
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 the Google Play listing. 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.