The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, presented the Union Budget for 2017-2018 today. Introducing the budget, the FM pointed out that India has now become the 6th largest manufacturing hub in the world, up from its number 9 spot last year. He attributed this rise to “tectonic initiatives” by the government including - a drive to bring in GST, demonetisation and digitisation in India.
“We are aware we need to do more for our people, our agenda is to transform, energise and clean India, that is ‘tech India'," said Jaitley, who then went on to propose a number of technological initiatives in various aspects of the Union Budget. He also went on to say that a digital economy is imperative for speedy accountability and transparency in the country. Here’s all that was proposed by the Finance Minister and it’s impact on India’s technology sector.
Agriculture & Roads
Will support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri co-ops.
Mini labs by qualified local entrepreneurs to be set up for soil testing in all 648 krishi vigyan kendras in the country.
NHAI to use space tech to monitor roads.
Innovation fund for secondary education and local innovation through ICT enabled transformation. 3479 educationally backward blocks will be the focus.
Swayam platform: Students to virtually attend courses, access reading resources, take tests. Access will be widened through linkage with DTH channels. National testing agency to conduct all entrance exams for higher education.
100 skill centers to be setup across India
FM says - will achieve 100% Rural Electrification By May 1, 2018
Aadhar based smart cards for senior citizens will be introduced in 15 districts as a pilot, with their medical records accessible through those cards.
Expert international assistance in railway safety.
7000 stations to be powered by solar power, beginning has been made with 300 and 1000 more will begin work soon.
All coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.
Service charges on e-tickets booked via IRCTC to be withdrawn, says FM
A new metro rail policy will be announced with focus on standardisation
Greater private sector participation and investment in construction is proposed.
Under the Bharat Net Project, 1.56 lakh kilometers of OFC (Optical Fiber) has been laid.
In 2017-18, high speed broadband connectivity will be available in more than 1 lakh villages.
FM announces DigiGaon initiative to digitise villages
250 electronics manufacturing investment proposals received in last 2 years, worth 1. 26 Lk Cr in investment - FM
New FDI policy under consideration, says FM
FM has proposed increase in incentives for manufacturing in India worth 745 crores in 2017-18
FM propose to form a Computer Emergency Response Team to aid the financial sector. The team will work closely with financial regulators
Government to take up second phase of solar power development for additional 20,000 MW, says FM
A number of announcements were made for the Digital Payments sector. Given the government’s demonitisation push, here are the announcements and proposals made to encourage a digital economy in India -
BHIM app has been adopted by more than 125 lakh people
Cash Back schemes for merchants and referral schemes for consumers to be launched on the BHIM app.
Aadhar Pay facility will be launched soon for those with no access to credit/debit card, mobile phones and computers.
Banks advised to setup 20 lakh Aadhaar based PoS (Point of Sale) terminals by September 2017.
Shift to digital platforms will benefit the common man, says FM.
Committee on digital payments has recommended structural reforms in the payments ecosystem and the government will review these to bring about amendments.
FM has proposed setting up of a Payment Regulatory Board within the RBI.
Online travel booking facility for defense personnel to be set up.
Web-based pension distribution system for defence to be established, says FM.
Government to take steps to promote digital payments at petrol pumps & hospitals, says FM.
FM sets target of 2,500 crore digital transactions across platforms like BHIM and UPI.
Profit linked-deductions for start-ups reduced to 3 years out of 7 years.