The annual financial statement of estimated receipts and expenditures of the government in respect of each financial year is called the Union Budget. In a historic decision, the government had announced last year that this year the Rail Budget will be merged with General Budget.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2017-18 in Parliament on February 1.
Here's how the Union Budget is prepared in India:
A calculative process between the Finance Ministry and the spending ministries is involved in the preparation of Budget. The guidelines or communicating instructions are issued by the Finance Ministry to the spending ministries, which plan and present requests for the allocation of Budget.
During the Budget cycle in September, the Budget Circular is issued, marking the beginning of the Budget process. The Budget Circular helps the ministries and departments in preparing the revised estimates for the past year and the Budget estimates for the coming year.
The ‘halwa ceremony’, attended by finance minister and other officials, marks the process of printing of Budget documents. After halwa is served, a large number of officials and staff, who are directly involved in the Budget-making and printing process, are required to stay in the ministry till the Budget is presented in Parliament by finance minister.
The entire Budget-making process kicks off months ago when the estimates from various ministries are sought by the finance ministry.
Before presenting the Budget, President’s recommendation is sought under Article 117(1) and 117(3) for introduction and consideration in the lower house of Parliament. The Budget is tabled in Lok Sabha by the finance minister with the "Budget speech" after President's recommendation. It is not discussed in the Lok Sabha on that day.
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The Finance Bill, which contains the provisions for giving effect to financial proposals of government, is introduced immediately after the Budget is presented. This completes the budgetary process.