Budget 2024: Take A closer Look At How The Union Budget Is Shaped

From preliminary consultations to palatable halwa, here's a peak into the making of the union budget
Union Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmal Sitharaman

Creating the Union Budget is a tedious and long task it involves multiple levels of bureaucracy. But as they say, everything good should start with something sweet. So, Before the Budget presentation, a traditional Halwa Ceremony is undertaken to mark the last stages of Union Budget preparation. The Finance Minister inaugurates this significant event at the ministry's headquarters in Delhi.

In the first step, the finance ministry issues circulars to ministries, states, union territories, and autonomous entities at the start of the budget process. These circulars include forms and guidelines for expressing needs and demands. Ministries disclose their past finances and provide estimates. Top officials evaluate and discuss these requests with the ministries and the Department of Expenditure.

After validating information, the finance ministry allocates revenue to various divisions for upcoming expenditures. Disagreements are resolved through deliberations with the Union Cabinet or the prime minister. The Departments of Economic Affairs and Revenue consult stakeholders like agriculturists, small business owners, and foreign institutional investors for further insight.

Before the Budget, the finance ministry holds meetings with state representatives, economists, and trade unions, to understand their recommendations. After considering these requests, discussions take place with the prime minister before confirmation.

Days before the Budget announcement, a traditional halwa ceremony marks the initiation of Budget document printing. A large frying pot produces halwa, which is shared with the entire finance ministry workforce in this annual event.

And then the final step is the Budget presentation to Parliament. On the first day of February, the finance minister outlines key points and rationale behind proposals, summarizing the document.

The Union Budget is like a big plan for the government's money. It helps decide how much money goes where – like building things, helping farmers, or supporting small businesses. The special events, like the halwa ceremony, are ways to make this serious work a bit more fun. The goal is to make sure everyone agrees on how the money is used and to share important information with the public.

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