The Union Budget 2021 will go completely paperless in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This will be the first time ever in the history of independent India that the Union Budget papers will not be printed. It may be noted that the budget papers are printed every year, the Union Budget is printed in the finance ministry’s in house press. Nearly 100 employees who have to stay together for nearly a fortnight till the time the papers are printed, sealed and delivered on the day of the Budget.
However, the government has decided not to print the budget papers for the upcoming annual fiscal plan in the wake of the Covid-19 situation in the country. Only soft copies of the Union Budget 2021 will be shared this year and the Centre has received permission for the same from both houses of the Parliament. The same rule will be followed with regards to the Economic Survey. In the wake of the pandemic, some other conventions may also be broken. For instance, the traditional ‘Halwa’ ceremony, which is a custom before budget papers are printed, may be held with a limited attendance or may not be held at all. The Union Budget will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2021, and the budget session of the Parliament will be held in two parts. The first session will start on January 29 and go on till February 15, while the second one will be held from March 8 to April 8.