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'Exemplary commitment': Veteran FinMin staff stays on Budget duty despite father's death

Union Budget 2020 latest: The Finance Ministry lauded the dedication of one of its employees in a recent tweet. Here's all you need to know

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | January 30, 2020 | Updated 18:27 IST
'Exemplary commitment': Veteran FinMin staff stays on Budget duty despite father's death
Drafting and printing of the Union Budget is an extemely secretive process

Finance Ministry has lauded the dedication of one of its employees during the run up to the Budget 2020-21. This employee is the Deputy Manager of Press, Kuldeep Kumar Sharma, who is under lock-in at ministry offices in North Block for Budget duty. Sharma's father passed away on January 26, 2020. Despite being informed about the irreparable loss, he decided not to leave his post for even a minute.

Sharma has an important contribution in the printing of the Budget 2020 document. The Ministry of Finance lauded his "exemplary commitment" to service.

The Union Budget for financial year 2020-21 is slated to be released on February 1, 2020. The Budget document is compiled and printed in utmost secrecy, and is kept away from public eye till it is formally tabled before the Parliament. Government employees involved in the process of Budget formation are required to remain under 'quarantine' in the North Block, i.e., completely out of bounds for the public and the media. The premises where the Budget is being drafted are under the watch of the Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Police personnel.

FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2020

In order to keep details such as the expected growth rate in a particular sector completely private till the D-day, a secret sheet known as the Blue sheet is maintained during the Budget preparation. This sheet comprises of the main economic data that are the basis of the budget calculations and gets upgraded as the new data come in. The secrecy around the blue sheet is such that only the joint secretary for Budget is given the custody of the blue sheet. Not even the Finance Minister is allowed to take the blue sheet outside the Finance Ministry premises.

The proceedings for drafting the Budget become even more secretive when the printing of the Union Budget document starts. During the 2-week time period, the officials who oversee the printing of the Budget are not allowed to go home and are quarantined within the basement area of the North Block. In order to avoid the risk of online leak of the Budget documents, all the computers inside the press area are delinked till the Budget day from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) servers. Leaking of the Budget documents is punishable under the Official Secrets Act.

Also read: Budget 2020: Date, time, expectations from Modi govt, where to watch

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