India’s Union Budget has got certain rituals associated with it that start weeks before the budget day and go on until the union finance minister delivers the budget speech. The customs have a history associated with it and also mark the start of the official budget season.
Here are some of the key rituals and practises associated with India’s Union Budget over the years:
1. The rolling out of the budget is done in several stages, which starts with a ‘halwa’, a sweet dish, ceremony. This year’s event was held on Jan 18.
— MIB India (@MIB_India) January 19, 2017
(Source: Twitter/MIB India)
And this one is from last year
— The Times24 (@thetimes24) January 28, 2017
(Source: Twitter/Times 24)
2. As soon as the the halwa ceremony completes, more than a hundred officials from the ministry of finance involved in drafting the budget are required to stay in a secret basement room until the budget day. During their stay, they are not allowed to communicate with any person outside. This stay usually lasts a fortnight. The final budget booklet is also printed during this while.
3. The “blue sheet” is the most secretive and the most guarded piece of paper out of all budget documents. It reportedly contain the key numbers and is entrusted to the care of a senior official from the finance ministry. Not even the finance minister is allowed to handle this sheet, which plays a crucial role in preparation of the budget.
4. On the budget day, the Finance Minister briefs the President before heading over to the Prime Minister’s. The Prime Minister and the finance minister are then supposed to go to Lok Sabha, the lower house, together.
5. The Finance Minister carries a special briefcase on the budget day.
— Geetu Moza (@Geetu_Moza) January 27, 2017
(Source: Twitter/Geetu Moda)