New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: As the country awaits the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday reached the Ministry of Finance in the North Block, ahead of the Budget 2021-22 presentation in the Parliament. The Budget presentation will begin with a speech from Finance Minister scheduled to take place at around 11 am.

This year's Budget is much-awaited as the country is reeling under the cascading effect of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown imposed to curb its spread. The Union Budget 2021 is also going to witness some major changes this year, including that the Budget will be paperless. 

As the Nirmala Sitharaman reached the Finance Ministry, she was seen carrying a tablet replacing the Swadeshi 'bahi khata' for the Budget presentation. Sitharaman was seen carrying a tablet kept inside a red coloured cover with a golden coloured national emblem embossed on it. The decision to keep the Budget paperless was taken in wake of the social distancing protocols issued by the authorities.

Every year, the Union Budget is printed in the finance ministry's in house press, involving nearly 100 employees who have to stay together for nearly a fortnight till the time the papers are printed, sealed and delivered on the day of the Budget. To avoid gathering, the government decided to go paperless this year. 

In 2019, Sitharaman ditched the long-standing tradition of carrying budget documents in a leather briefcase and went swadeshi with a 'bahi-khata'. She had said that the Modi government is not a "suitcase-carrying government", in an apparent jibe at the past dispensations.

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

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan