The Finance Ministry has decided not to print Budget 2021 and will go paperless, in a significant break from tradition, due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This is the first time in the history of independent India that budget papers will not be printed.
The decision was taken as the printing process requires several people to stay at the press for around a fortnight. More than 100 people usually stay at the basement of north block till the budget is presented and this cannot happen this year due to the covid pandemic.
This means there will not be no halwa ceremony, which traditionally takes place before the printing of papers. This ceremony, which starts around January 20, is attended by all the people involved in budget-making and marks the beginning of printing. There will be no trucks loaded with Budget papers either, a familiar sight at Parliament on Budget Day.
And the finance minister will not be carrying budget papers in a Bahi, which earlier used to be carried in a suitcase.