Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Distributes Halwa As Part Of Pre-Budget Halwa Ceremony

Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the pre-budget halwa ceremony today.

The traditional ‘halwa ceremony’, marking the final stage of the preparation process for interim Union Budget 2024, was held this evening at the Union Finance Ministry headquarters at North Block in Delhi. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen unwrapping a huge iron wok which had halwa in it and distributing it to the officials of the ministry.

Ms Sitharaman was seen stirring the halwa before serving it to the oficials.

Besides Ms Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Karad also attended the ceremony.

A customary halwa ceremony is performed every year before the “lock-in” process of Budget preparation begins. The lock-in process is observed to maintain the secrecy of the upcoming budget and prevent any leaks before it is finally presented in the Parliament.

According to the ritual, the Indian dessert is served to all those who are directly assciated with the Bidget making process. Post the ceremony, the officials are required to stay in the Finance Ministry till the Finance Minister finally presents the Budget.

The ritual has been followed for decades and is inspired by the Indian tradition of eating something sweet before starting something important or special. It is also a gesture to acknowledge the efforts of all those involved in preparing the Budget.

Nirmala Sitharaman will present the interim budget on February 1. The interim budget typically takes care of the fiscal needs of the intervening period till a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls

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