FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, BUDGET 2021 TO BE PAPERLESS
Union Budget 2021, slated to be presented on February 1, is going to be completely paperless in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This will be the first time since independence that the budget papers will not be printed. The Centre has received permission for the same from both houses of parliament.
Although the central government had first decided to cut down on the printing of hard copies of the Budget in 2016-17 in a bid to go green, this will be for the first time when printing could be stopped altogether.
In first, the Union Budget is going to be completely paperless and this is going to happen for the first time since independence, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time since the Union Budget of independent India was first presented on November 26, 1947, the Budget documents will not be printed. No trucks loaded with Budget papers, a familiar sight at Parliament on Budget Day will be seen parked outside the building this time around.
Every year, the documents are printed by the finance ministry’s in-house printing press. This year, however, both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have been able to convince the members for the same.
Not only that, the traditional Halwa Ceremony that marks the official printing of the budget is also set to be dropped. The budget is set to go digital end all the 750 members of parliament will get soft copies of the budget and economic survey. The familiar sight of trucks loaded with budget papers in the parliament on the budget day will also be given a miss.
The Union Budget will be presented on February 1. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) had said that the Budget Session of Parliament will be held in two parts from January 29 to April 8. The first part of the Budget session would be held from January 29 to February 15, and Part 2 from March 8 to April 8.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on January 29. The Economic Survey would be tabled in the Lok Sabha on January 29 after the President’s address. All COVID-related protocols would be followed during the session. Like the Monsoon session, the upcoming Budget session is also likely to be held in two shifts — morning and evening — with each House sitting in one shift using both the chambers.
Each House is likely to sit for 5 hours on a working day during the Budget session, according to sources. The Lok Sabha is likely to sit in the evenings (3 pm to 8 pm) and the Rajya Sabha in the mornings (9 am to 2 pm). However, for the presidential address and on budget day, the Lok Sabha is likely to be held during the first part of the session and on other days it will be the Rajya Sabha first.
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