Desi sweet dish halwa, which is part of most auspicious ceremonies or events held in the country, has been prepared and distributed among staff and members by successive governments before kick-starting the printing of budget documents.
The ceremonial distribution of halwa will be held on January 20 as it marks the official beginning of Budget 2020. The halwa ceremony will be celebrated at the Ministry of Finance, North Block.
The sweet dish is prepared in abundance on this day in a large cauldron and served to every staff of the Finance Ministry. The event will see attendance of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other top ministry officials.
As per convention, after the halwa has been consumed by all, no official or support staff working in proximity with the Budget printing process is allowed to leave the premises. The quarantining is done to maintain the sanctity of documents and to ensure complete secrecy.
They remain cut off from their families and are bound to stay inside the ministry until the Budget is tabled in the Lok Sabha. Exceptions, however, are made for top ministry officials, who are allowed to go home.
This year, the Budget will be presented on February 1.