The Annual Budget, scheduled to be presented in the parliament by Finance Minister Nirmal Sitaraman on February 1, will be a paperless affair for the year 2021-22, reports The Economic Times.
The reports suggest that the new initiative was lauded in the parliament and has received the accent from both the houses. If the same happens, it would the first time in the history of the Indian parliament that the budget would be presented in the absence of printed copies on the tables.
The reason drawn by the parliament to go paperless has been taken as the printing process would require several people to stay at the press for around a fortnight amid the coronavirus fears.
For the unaware, the budget is kept confidential with access to only a limited few until its presentation in the parliament. The budget documents are generally printed at the Finance Ministry’s in-house printing press in the North Block.
The reports also suggest that in 2021, the Halwa Ceremony, which marks the process of printing documents for the Budget, might also not happen. The ceremony is attended by some ministers and the printing staff.
Once printing starts, printing staffers have to stay inside the press till the presentation of the budget. Only a few high-ranked officials are allowed access and that too on the basis of a special identity card. The entire facility, loading-unloading and transportation are manned by the special security forces.