Union Budget 2018: From halwa ceremony to Leather Bag, All you need to know
Updated On : 01 Feb 2018,08:54 AM
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present the Union Budget for 2018-19 on Thursday. The first phase of the Parliament Budget session began on January 29 and will continue till February 9. This years Budget session is crucial for the Govt because it comes after the Modi government’s two major big financial decisions - Demonetisation and GST.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to present the Union Budget 2018 at 11 am.
1. Ahead of the budget, the FM and other top officials take part in the halwa ceremony. The halwa ceremony is based on the tradition of having something sweet before an auspicious event.Cooking of this traditional sweet dish marks the beginning of the printing of the Budget document. The ceremony is held about a fortnight before the Budget day.
2. Halwa ceremony is followed by a lock-in, all the 100-odd officials involved in printing of the budget are locked in North Block in a basement without mobile or internet. They can come out only after the Finance Minister presents the Budget.
3. Also, FM Arun Jaitely will pose with a leather briefcase on the budget day before he heads to make the budget speech. The tradition of carrying a leather briefcase and maintaining the secrecy around it has been passed down by the British. The first finance minister of independent India, R.K. Shanmukham Chetty, presented the country’s first budget on November 26, 1947. He was photographed with the leather bag just before entering the Parliament.
4. Last year, the Rail budget was merged with the Union Budget breaking a 92-year-old tradition. Rail Budget was presented as a separate budget until 2017. This Budget system was established by the British Empire.
Presenting Union Budget on February 1 started in 2017. Before that, the budget used to be presented on the last day of February.
5. The Indian Ministry of Finance consists of five departments: Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Expenditure, Department of Revenue, Department of Financial Services, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. The officials from these departments help in the making of Union Budget.
6. India Finance Minister in the BJP-led Government Yashwant Sinha changed the practice, inherited from the British era, of announcing the Budget at 5 PM on the last working day of February to announcing the Budget at 11 AM of the last working day of February.