‘Halwa’ Ceremony, Red Bahi-Khata: Everything You Need to know About Union Budget 2020

Business | News18 | February 1, 2020, 8:48 am
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 As the nation awaits Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s second Union Budget presentation on February 01, 2020. We bring you some very interesting facts and trivia about the previous budgets that you would never regret reading;<br /><br />In 2019, FM Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the colonial legacy of a Budget Briefcase for a Bahi-Khata to carry Union Budget Papers. (Image: News18 Creative)
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As the nation awaits Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s second Union Budget presentation on February 01, 2020. We bring you some very interesting facts and trivia about the previous budgets that you would never regret reading;

In 2019, FM Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the colonial legacy of a Budget Briefcase for a Bahi-Khata to carry Union Budget Papers. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 FM Nirmala Sitharaman is the first full-time woman Finance Minister to present the Union Budget. Indira Gandhi held the additional charge of Finance when was Prime Minister. (Image: News18 Creative)
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FM Nirmala Sitharaman is the first full-time woman Finance Minister to present the Union Budget. Indira Gandhi held the additional charge of Finance when was Prime Minister. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 The first Union budget of independent India was presented on November 26, 1947, by RK Shanmukham Chetty. (Image: News18 Creative)
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The first Union budget of independent India was presented on November 26, 1947, by RK Shanmukham Chetty. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 Morarji Desai presented 10 budgets, which is the highest count by an Indian finance minister, followed by P Chidambaram’s 9 and Pranab Mukherjee’s 8. Desai presented the Union budget twice on his birthday – February 29, 1964, and 1968.(Image: News18 Creative)
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Morarji Desai presented 10 budgets, which is the highest count by an Indian finance minister, followed by P Chidambaram’s 9 and Pranab Mukherjee’s 8. Desai presented the Union budget twice on his birthday – February 29, 1964, and 1968.(Image: News18 Creative)

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 Again in 2017, departing from the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February, then finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that budget will now be presented on 1 February. Additionally, the rail budget, presented separately for 92 years, was merged with Union Budget. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Again in 2017, departing from the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February, then finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that budget will now be presented on 1 February. Additionally, the rail budget, presented separately for 92 years, was merged with Union Budget. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are the only Prime Ministers to have presented a budget. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are the only Prime Ministers to have presented a budget. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 Until the year 1999, the Union Budget was announced at 05:00 pm on the last working day of the month of February. This practice was inherited from the Colonial Era. It was Yashwant Sinha, the then finance minister in the NDA government, who changed the ritual by announcing the 1999 Union Budget at 11 am. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Until the year 1999, the Union Budget was announced at 05:00 pm on the last working day of the month of February. This practice was inherited from the Colonial Era. It was Yashwant Sinha, the then finance minister in the NDA government, who changed the ritual by announcing the 1999 Union Budget at 11 am. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 Arun Jaitley’s first Budget speech, presented in 2014, is by far the longest Budget speech ever with 253 paragraphs and it went on for 2 hours and 10 minutes, which is excluding a four-minute break that he took for his health reasons. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Arun Jaitley’s first Budget speech, presented in 2014, is by far the longest Budget speech ever with 253 paragraphs and it went on for 2 hours and 10 minutes, which is excluding a four-minute break that he took for his health reasons. (Image: News18 Creative)

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 The printing of budget documents starts roughly 10 days before its presentation in the Parliament with a customary ‘Halwa ceremony’, during which the sweet dish is prepared and served to the finance ministry officers and support staff involved. The ceremony marks the start of the lock-in period to maintain budget secrecy, which means the staff remains isolated and stay in the North Block office until the Budget is presented in parliament. (Image: News18 Creative)
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The printing of budget documents starts roughly 10 days before its presentation in the Parliament with a customary ‘Halwa ceremony’, during which the sweet dish is prepared and served to the finance ministry officers and support staff involved. The ceremony marks the start of the lock-in period to maintain budget secrecy, which means the staff remains isolated and stay in the North Block office until the Budget is presented in parliament. (Image: News18 Creative)

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