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.
The decision has been taken as several people (approximately 100) would be required to stay at the printing press for around a fortnight amid the COVID-19 fear.
They are needed to stay on till the documents are printed, sealed and delivered on the day of the budget. However, this time the finance ministry has decided not to keep them in the printing press and make soft copies available to all members of the parliament.
The budget papers are usually printed at the ministry's in-house printing press in the North Block.
"The Budget papers - the Union Budget and Economic Survey - will not get printed, soft copies will be provided," an official told the Economic Times.
This year's budget may reportedly witness several conventions being broken as the traditional 'Halwa' ceremony, which is a given every year is also not likely to take place, or a low-key function may be held with limited gathering in attendance.
The budget session in parliament, which will start on January 29 and go on till April 8, will take place in two parts.
The first one will take place between January 29 and February 15, while the second session will begin on March 8 and go on till April 8. Meanwhile, there will be a break between the two sessions, from February 16 and March 7.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint sitting of both houses of parliament on January 29, following which the Economic Survey would be presented in the Lok Sabha.