New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman will present Union Budget in paperless form on February 1, 2022 during the budget session of parliament. The Budget presentation in Loksabha is scheduled to start from 11 AM on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The Finance Ministry, in an official statement informed that instead of the customary 'Halwa ceremony' to mark the final stage of Budget preparation, sweets were distributed among the core staff due to undergo "lock-in" at their workplaces.

What is lock-in and why is it important?

Officials involved in making the Budget have to undergo a "lock-in" in order to maintain the secrecy of the Budget document. The officials involved in the making of Union Budget 2022 are housed within North Block since January 27, 2022. They will remain housed there till Feb 1, 2022 the day when Finance Minister is scheduled to present the Union Budget.

The significance of the sweet dish is that after it is served, a large number of officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making, are required to stay in the ministry and remain cut off from their families until the presentation of the Budget by Finance Minister in the Lok Sabha.

How many officials are “locked” in North Block?

Around 100 officials are involved in the printing of the Budget and they will remain “locked” in the North Block office till the presentation of Budget on 1 February.

They are not even allowed to contact their near and dear ones through phone or any other form of communication, like e-mail. Only very senior officials in the Finance Ministry are permitted to go homes.

The Budget Press in North Block houses all these officials in the period between completion of Budget making and its presentation in Parliament by the Finance Minister.

The Union Budget 2022-23 would also be available on the app after the process of Budget presentation has been completed on February 1.

The mobile app allows complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Budget Speech, Annual Financial Statement (Also known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill etc. as prescribed by the Constitution. The mobile app is bilingual (English and Hindi) and is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

With PTI inputs

Posted By: Mukul Sharma