Jaitley offers pre-Budget ‘halwa’ to Finance Ministry officials

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New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union MoS Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Department of Economic Affairs Secretary S.C. Garg at the Halwa ceremony to mark the commencement of Budget printing process for Union Budget 2018-19, in New Delhi on Jan 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New Delhi, Jan 20 : Following the Indian tradition of having something sweet before setting out on an auspicious work, the Finance Ministry here on Saturday performed the “halwa” ceremony to mark the commencement of the printing process for the 2018-19 Budget.

Traditionally, the sweet dish is cooked in large quantity and the Finance Minister serves it to the officials in the ministry, who remain incommunicado and stay in the North Block — where the Union Finance Ministry is housed — till the presentation of the Budget.

Budget 2018-19 would be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Fenruary 1.

Jaitley on Saturday celebrated the “halwa” ceremony with Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs S.C. Garg, among other officials.