New Delhi: The Budget Day is the most important day for any Finance Minister as it evaluates his/her performance, in Parliament by the Opposition and by the public at large.
Every Finance Minister starts his/her Budget day with Ganesh puja at the corridors of the Finance Ministry of the North Block, offering flowers to the Lord, before heading to the Parliament for budget presentation.
“It’s a custom, untold and unwritten in our Finance Ministry, but every Finance Minister has adhered to it without any exception over the years, no matter what his religious belief is. Every year on Budget day, we all, including the Finance Minister and the budget team do that, like the Halwa ceremony before printing of the document starts,” revealed a retired senior official of the Ministry of Finance, who worked there for decades.
“I don’t remember ever missing to bring flowers for the Ganesh puja for ‘sahabs’ (the Finance Minister and budget team) in these years, as no Finance Minister ever left the Ministry for the Parliament without offering flowers to our Ganesh ji. It’s our custom that when we embark on a journey of something good, we start with Ganesh puja, like a marriage card, you must have seen,” told an employee of the Ministry.
Dr. Bhagwat Karad, Minister of State for Finance also started his Budget Day with Ganesh puja at home on Tuesday before heading to the North Block, so did Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said his personal staff once when asked.
So what Pranab Mukherjee used to do on Budget day when he was the Finance Minister? “I don’t remember baba performing any special puja on Budget Day at home, but baba was quite religious and he never left home for work without his morning walk and puja, but not any special one on Budget Day”, said Sharmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of late Pranab Mukherjee, who was the Finance Minister in the UPA Government.