In India, the process of printing documents for the annual Budget starts with the halwa ceremony. For the Budget 2020, the ceremony will be hosted by the Finance Ministry on 20 January, Monday.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman will be present with other officials of the ministry and clerks at the ceremony which will be held at the North Block.
The annual tradition of hosting a halwa ceremony marks the beginning of the budget printing process. The 'halwa', a sweet dish, is served to the entire staff of the finance ministry before officials involved with the printing of the budget are locked in the printing press room in the basement of North Block until the budget is presented.
The employees who are a part of the budget-making process will only emerge on the day of the Budget presentation, that is the 1 February. These individuals perform printing, proofreading and translation.
There are no phones in the room for outward communication. Elaborate lodging and food arrangements are made for the officials.
North Block is strictly off-limits for the press after the ceremony until the Budget presentation day.