Union Budget 2021: How is budget kept a secret and has it ever been leaked?
New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the eighth budget of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on February 1 in the Lok Sabha with focus on steering the pandemic-battered economic and pushing growth. The budget-making is a highly secretive process, so much so that the even the officials involved in preparing the documents are closely monitored by the Intelligence Bureau personnel and the Delhi Police until the day of presentation.
The documents are guarded closely by the government to prevent any kind of leak to the press or other institutions in days leading up to their presentation. The officials involved in the budget-process remain cut-off from their families, while the Ministry itself is heavily guarded by security personnel. They are allowed to use their phone or meet people only after the presentation ceremony is completed.
Has a budget ever been leaked?
Certain portions of the budget for financial year 1950-51 was leaked ahead of the presentation in the parliament. After this incident, the printing of the document, which used to take place at Rashtrapati Bhawan, was shifted to Minto Road. John Mathai was the country's Finance Minister when the budget when the incident took place. Since then, however, not even a single section of the document has been leaked prior to its presentation. Today, the documents are printed at the North Block basement.
The Finance Ministry commences the planning and preparation of the budget months before the budget session. The printing of the documents commences nearly a week prior to the presentation with a customary 'Halwa ceremony.' The budget comes to effect on April 1, only after it has been passed by the Lok Sabha. Earlier, Railway Budget used to be presented separately, though the practise was ended by the BJP-led Central government in 2016.
Posted By: Lakshay Raja