Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic! For the first time, the budget documents will not be printed this year but will be circulated electronically to the Members of Parliament (MPs). MPs will receive soft copies of the budget documents.
Union Budget 2021, scheduled to be presented on 1 February will neither witness Bahi Khata or a briefcase because it will be completely paperless. In the history of independent India, this will be the first time the budget documents with the Union government’s income and expenditure statements along with the finance bill will not be printed physically.
The historic decision has been taken since printing the budget documents will result in several people staying back at the press for at least a fortnight amidst the fear of COVID-19. Usually, the budget documents are printed at the Finance Ministry’s North Block’s in-house printing press.
This year there will be no sight of trucks getting loaded with the budget documents at the Parliament on the big day, i.e., 1 February. In 2019, Nirmala Sitharman, the Finance Minister discontinued carrying the budget documents in a leather briefcase and introduced the traditional ‘Bahi Khata’ or a ledger which is kept inside a red cloth folder which is tied with a string.
There is also speculation that the traditional ‘Halwa’ ceremony might not happen this year or even if a function is held, it will be having limited guests. Union Budget 2021 is set to break several conventions due to the ongoing pandemic fear.
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Bhavana is a Senior Content Writer handling the GST vertical. She is committed, professional, and has a flair for writing. When away from work, she enjoys watching movies and playing with her son. One thing she can’t resist is SHOPPING! Her favourite quote is: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.