For the first time since India got independence, the union budget presented by the Finance Ministry will not get printed. The decision was taken citing the COVID-19 restrictions.
“ “The Budget papers – the Union Budget and Economic Survey – will not get printed, soft copies will be provided,” an official reportedly said.
The printing of the Union Budget involves around 100 employees of the Finance Ministry to stay together for a fortnight until the budget is printed at the in-house press of the ministry and then sealed and delivered to the parliament. This year because of the pandemic, the ministry has decided to away with the custom and go paperless with Budget 2021-22.
The Finance Ministry has reportedly sought approval from both the houses of Parliament.
This another first in Nirmala Sitaraman’s tenure as the Finance Minister. Last year, she carried the budget in a red cloth folder known as ‘Bahi Khata’ or a ledger instead of the customary briefcase.
This year’s Budget 2021 session will begin on January 29 in the Parliament and will continue till April 8. It will be conducted in two parts. The first part will be conducted between January 29 to February 15 and then the second one will be between March 8 to April 8. The Parliament will be on break during the time between February 16 to March 7 and the Budget Session will take place during afternoons.
So far the experts have predicted that the Government will introduce a COVID-19 cess in order to fund the spending done during the pandemic.