Union Budget 2021-22: Final stage commences with ‘Halwa’ Ceremony; mobile app launched to provide information

Union Budget 2021-22: Final stage commences with 'Halwa' Ceremony; mobile app launched to provide information

New Delhi: The Halwa ceremony, marking the final stage of the Budget making process for Union Budget 2021-22, was held in Delhi’s North Block on Saturday in the presence of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the ‘lock-in’ process of Budget preparation begins. 

At the Halwa Ceremony, the Union Finance Minister was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur; Dr AB Pandey, Finance Secretary & Secretary (Revenue); TV Somanathan, Secretary, Expenditure; Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Economic Affairs; Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, DIPAM; Debashish Panda, Secretary, Financial Services; Dr KV Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor; Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary (Budget) and other officials of the Ministry. 

PC Mody, Chairman, CBDT, M Ajit Kumar, Chairman, CBIC, besides others officers and staff of the Ministry of Finance, involved in the Budget preparation and compilation process, were also present on the occasion.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also reviewed the status of the compilation of the Union Budget 2021-22 and extended her best wishes to the officials concerned.

On the occasion, Sitharaman also launched the ‘Union Budget Mobile App’ for hassle-free access of Budget documents by Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public using the simplest form of digital convenience. 

The mobile app facilitates complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill etc as prescribed by the Constitution.

The app has a user-friendly interface with embedded features of downloading, printing, search, zoom in and out, bidirectional scrolling, table of contents and external links, etc. It is bilingual (English & Hindi) and will be available on both android and iOS platforms. It can also be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in). It has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the guidance of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

The Budget documents will be available on the mobile app after the completion of the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister in Parliament on February 1. 

In an unprecedented initiative, the Union Budget 2021-22 will be delivered in paperless form for the first time.

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