Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks during the inauguration of a conference on ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy: Changing Paradigm’, in Mumbai on Saturday. (Image: PTI)

Pre-Budget Media Quarantine In Finance Ministry To Start From Dec.1

The finance ministry situated at the North Block will be out of bounds for media from Dec. 1 as its enters the last lap of budget preparation for next financial year.

The Budget is likely to be tabled in Parliament in the first week of February. The last Budget was presented on Feb. 1.

Since the work on the 2018-19 Budget has already commenced and gaining momentum, the Finance Ministry has decided not to allow entry of media from December 1, official sources said.

This would be the last full budget of the Narendra Modi led government which came to power in May 2014.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget team comprises Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and Pon Radhakrishnan, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

The official team is led by Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg, Expenditure Secretary AN Jha, Disinvestment Secretary NK Gupta and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar.

Media personnel with valid PIB cards are allowed to enter North Block, the seat of finance ministry, without a prior appointment. But during the quarantine period such entries will be barred.

With the Budget documents being guarded like the gold in Fort Knox, electronic sweeping devices are being installed and private e-mail facilities to most computers in the ministry are blocked.