India Business

Union Budget 2019: How Is The Budget Kept Secret By The Finance Ministry? Find Out Before Nirmala Sitharaman's First Budget Speech

Written By Apoorva Rao | Mumbai | Published:


  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Modi 2.0 government's first budget on July 5
  • Ahead of the budget speech, the entire process behind it was kept highly confidential by the ministry
  • Several measures were taken to keep the budget before it was presented in the Parliament

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Modi 2.0 government's first budget on July 5. The Union Minister has been busy with her team to deliver today's budget making sure it assuages the current ills in the fiscal situation as well as meet expectations delivering PM Narendra Modi's vision.

To prepare the budget, the ministry works from the basement in the North Block of the government Secretariat on the Raisina Hill. The work begins with the traditional of serving halwa to the staff of the Finance Ministry. Soon after, the officers tasked with the printing of the budget are locked up in the basement.

The documents of the budget used to be printed inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan till 1950 but following a leak it was moved to a government assigned venue on Minto Road. It was changed again 1980 after which the North Block became the designated area for printing the budget document.

READ | Budget 2019 Live Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman To Present The First Union Budget Of The Modi Government 2.0 In Parliament

The Blue Sheet

A blue piece of paper contains the important figures which forms the basis of the budget document. It is guarded with utmost secrecy and it is inaccessible even to the Union Finance Minister. The Joint Secretary (budget) has the custody of the blue sheet. It is drafted a few weeks ahead of the day of the presentation of the Budget. 

The Quarantine Period

Finance Minister Sitharaman and her team comprising of Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Expenditure Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, DIPAM Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar have been at work and been quarantined since June 3. The team will also be assisted by MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and  Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian. Officials from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) as well as legal experts are also involved in the process.  All the officials involved in its preparation will stay put in the ministry till the day of the Budget presentation .

READ | BUDGET 2019: Ahead Of The Budget Presentation, Here's A Look At Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Team

No visitors are allowed. Even the media is kept out. There are sweeping devices installed in the the building. The officials involved in the budget are not allowed to even access private emails. The private emails are blocked on most systems in the ministry. Mobile phones are disallowed inside. Even the FInance Ministry is not allowed to use the mobile phone. The ministry uses the landline, but outgoing calls cannot be done using them.

There is tight security at the exit and entry points of the ministry which will continue till the quarantine period is over. The officials of the Intelligence Bureau with the help of Delhi Police monitor movements near the North Block and near the entrance areas of offices of those involved in the budget-making process. 

Since the officials who number close to a hundred are locked within the premises of the ministry, a medical team is stationed inside in case of emergencies during the quarantne period.