The most important part of the country’s announcement is its Budget. The Budget of the country defines its growth and economy in the coming future years. The Budget announced on 1st February 2017 instead of 28th February was due to the elections of the assembly polls ahead of it.
Mr. Arun Jaitley presented the budget starting with some brief discussions on the monetary funds allocated and to be allocated in the country. The three main challenges for emerging economies that he stated were:
1. The current monetary policy stance of the US Federal Reserve.
2. Uncertainty among commodity prices.
3. Signs of increasing retreat from goods and services.
Stating them, he conveyed that India stood as one of the bright spot in the world economic landscape. Providing with the brief related to the Global Market, Mr. Arun Jaitley initiated the budget which had the agenda as TEC India:
a. Transform India: Transform India with the new and empowering ideas of existing start-ups, entrepreneurs and upcoming ventures. Transform the quality of governance and quality of life of our people.
b. Energise India: The youth helping the nation energise in terms of its growth, power, economy and varied sectors. Energise various sections of society, especially the youth and the vulnerable, and enable them to unleash their true potential.
c. Clean India: Clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding.
Before going ahead with the highlights focused to IT sector and Digital India, let us have a brief highlight on the Budget 2017-2018. Major points:
• Personal Income Tax from income between 2.5L to 5L reduced to 5% from 10%
• Service charge on online railway booking tickets removed.
• Oil prices, rising of the commodity prices, major risk to the Indian economy
• Only ₹2,000/- can be donated to Political parties in Cash from one source, rest donation should be made from either Bank Transfers (Online i.e. through NEFT/IMPS/RTGS/BHIM) or through Cheque
• Electronic Bonds will be introduced.
• IRCTC, IRFC and IRCON to be listed on various stock exchanges.
Allocations in the various sectors in the presented budget are as follows:
1. Railways: ₹ 1,31,000 crore
2. Infrastructure: ₹ 39,61,354 crore
3. Defence: ₹ 2,74,114 crore
4. Transport: ₹ 2,40,000 crore
5. Agriculture/Rural: ₹ 1,87,223 crore
Having a brief overview of what this year’s budget had in the menu, let us move into the IT and Digital Sector. As we all know, the recent announcement of Demonetization had made a lot of news overtime and this lead to an unprecedented growth in the Digital Transaction and IT world.
India in the phase of being Cashless, created an altogether new application for online fund transfer. The application named as: Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) can be downloaded from the Play Store, in order to transfer funds online (We will talk about this in a different article).
Making such developments before the Budget and after the demonetization, it is very important for us to take a look on what the present scenario is. So here are the points listed which had an Impact by the Budget 2017-2018:
• More than 125 crore have already adopted the BHIM app, whom are you waiting for? Go Digital, Go Cashless
• Aadhaar Pay: an app for merchants to be launched with around 20 lakh aadhaar based POS (Point-Of-Sales) by September 2017
• Political parties’ entitled to receive donations through Digital Modes.
• Space Technology will be used in a big way to ensure “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” (MGNREGA)
• Introducing a system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with innovative ideas and inventions
• Aadhaar based smart cards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.
• SMS-based “clean my coach service” has been placed into practice and is implemented majorly.
• High Speed internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
• The BHIM application will unleash mobile phone revolution. Soon to introduce two schemes:
Referral bonus for the Users.
Cash Back for Traders.
• Easy and convenient online booking system for army and defence personnel.
• Tax concessions to consumers and businesses to promote digital payments
• Increase in investment in Technology and both firms in in-house R&D and the State in Research done
• Expenditure on Science and Technology: ₹ 37,435 crore
Keeping the above points in mind we can say that the budget in terms of IT and Digital Economy was good. Though there should have been an indication on improving the security over digital transactions and online identity. Cybersecurity should also been considered as a separate entity, due to rise in online mediums. Also we need to create more jobs in the IT industry, as more and more start-ups are emerging with great and innovative ideas.
We may have missed few information through but we have tried to cover as much details as possible in the scope of Digital Economy and IT Sector. Please feel free to share your feedbacks and suggestions on the article in the comments below. Hope it was useful for your knowledge.
References: Few references were taken up from The Times of India, and The Hindu.
Image Courtesy: Twitter
Article written and submitted by: Akshay Rakesh Toshniwal