New Delhi, January 19, 2021 (Agencies): The Paperless Budget 2021 which is scheduled to be presented on February 1 will be the Finance Ministry has decided not to print the documents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Touted to be a historic move, The first time in the history of independent India that 2021 papers will not be printed.
Sources said the government has received permission for the same from both the Houses of Parliament.
The Paperless Budget view of coronavirus fears
The decision has been taken as the printing process would require several people to stay at the press for around a fortnight amid the coronavirus fears. The budget documents are generally printed at the Finance Ministry`s in-house printing press in the North Block.
Union budget 2021 may see several conventions being broken as the sources said that the traditional Halwa ceremony may also not take place this year or a subdued function may be held with limited gathering.
This ceremony, which normally starts around January 20, is attended by all the people involved in budget-making and marks the beginning of printing.
Once printing starts, printing staffers stay inside the press till the presentation of the budget. Only a few high-ranked officials are allowed access and that too is based on a special identity card. The entire facility, loading-unloading, and transportation are manned by the special security forces.
Paperless budget breaks tradition
This is not the first time that there would be a change in tradition in the presentation of the budget under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Last year, she did away with a colonial-era tradition of carrying Budget papers in a briefcase and introduced the Budget `Bahi Khata` or a ledger, enclosed in a red cloth folder and tied with a string
A list of some amazing facts that you need to know about the Union Budget:
1. Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the old traditional style of carrying the budget in a briefcase in 2019 and she carried a Red packet with the National Emblem wrapped with a ribbon.
2. The word budget is derived from ‘budget’ which means a leather bag in French.
3. Earlier, before independence the budget timing was 5 pm and it was started by Basil Blackett in 1924. Later, in 2001, NDA Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time of the budget presentation to 11 am.
4. Indira Gandhi was the first woman Finance Minister to present the budget on February 28, 1970.
5. The first budget of India after Independence was presented by RK Shanmukhan Chetty on November 26, 1947.
6. Earlier, till 2017, the railway and union budget were presented separately after that they were presented into a single presentation.
7. The year 1973-74 is known as the black budget year as at that time the budget deficit was Rs 550 crore.
8. It was till 2016 that the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. However, the Former finance minister Arun Jaitley changed the tradition and it started presenting on the first day of February.
9. Morarji Desai was the one who presented the maximum number of budgets (10) between 1962-69 during his tenure as finance minister.
10. Till 1955, the budget was presented only in the English language and after that year, Congress decided to print the budget in both Hindi and English.