New Delhi: Stock exchanges have finally got the nod from the Securities and Exchange Board of India to keep markets open on February 1, which is a Saturday, as Union Budget 2020 is scheduled to be tabled on that day. Markets remain closed on Saturdays but Budget days witness heavy trading. So, markets will trade in regular timings of 9 AM to 3.30 PM. Also Read - Budget 2020: Maha Panel Seeks Rs 3 lakh-crore as Farmers' Bailout Package
In 2015, the Union Budget was presented on a Saturday. So, this is not the first time that the markets will remain open on a Saturday that is also a Budget day. Also Read - Budget Document Printing to Start Today With 'Halwa' Ceremony
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and senior officials of the finance ministry on Monday participated in the symbolic ‘Halwa Ceremony’ that marks the launch of formal printing of Budget 2020-21 documents. Also Read - Union Budget 2020: More Than 300 Items Likely to See Customs Duty Hike
As part of the ritual, ‘halwa’ is prepared in a big ‘kadhai’ (large frying pot) and served to the entire staff in the ministry. The significance of the event is that after the sweet dish is served, a large number of officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making and printing process, are required to stay in the ministry and remain cut off from their families till the presentation of the Budget in the Lok Sabha.