The ceremonial Halwa ceremony, marking the final phase of preparations for the Interim Union Budget 2024, took place at North Block on Wednesday, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Dr. Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad in attendance. This customary event signifies the commencement of the "lock-in" phase, during which officials involved in the budget-making process are confined to North Block.
Similar to the past three full Union Budgets, the Interim Union Budget 2024 will be presented in a paperless format, scheduled for February 1, as announced by the Finance Ministry. All budget-related documents, including the Annual Financial Statement, Demand for Grants, and Finance Bill, will be accessible on the "Union Budget Mobile App." This initiative aims to facilitate easy access to budget documents for Members of Parliament and the general public. The documents will be published in both English and Hindi and can be accessed on Android and iOS platforms. The Union Budget Mobile App can be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in).
These budget documents will be made available on the mobile app following the completion of the Budget Speech by the Union Finance Minister in Parliament on February 1.
During the Halwa ceremony, Finance Minister Sitharaman was joined by senior officials, including Finance Secretary & Secretary, Expenditure - T.V. Somanathan, Secretary, Economic Affairs - Ajay Seth, Secretary, DIPAM - Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Revenue - Sanjay Malhotra, Chairman, Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) - Nitin Gupta, and Chairman, Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) - Sanjay Kumar Agarwal.
As part of the ceremony, the Finance Minister toured the Budget Press, reviewed preparations, and extended her best wishes to the officials involved in the budget-making process. The emphasis on a paperless presentation and mobile accessibility reflects the government's commitment to technological advancements and transparency in the budgetary process.
(With Agency Inputs)