Budget to boost Digital India vision
The Union Budget 2016-17 has given a big boost to the Digital India vision of the Prime Minister. The announcements made by Finance Minister, which are expected to give a big boost to Digital India initiatives, Digital literacy, greater application of Cloud and above all big pushÂ Â to the Electronics Manufacturing are appreciable steps. The Finance Minister has also focused uponÂ Â the larger involvement of post office platform for financial inclusion, including delivery of services.
Giving details of certain provisions made in theÂ Budget relating to his ministry, the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that some profoundÂ changes, which happenedÂ inÂ theÂ lastÂ 20Â months include:- .
1.Â IT / ITeS exports have crossed USD 100 billion.
2.Â Indiaâ€™s share in global IT services outsourcing presently is 56 %, is growing every year.
3.Â TheÂ totalÂ employmentÂ in IT /Â ITeSÂ sector is 37Â lakhsÂ in thisÂ financial year, outÂ of which theÂ netÂ addition is 2 lakhs.
4.Â Electronics Manufacturing hasÂ seen remarkable improvement, due to the initiatives of this government. When this government came to power, in June 2014, the proposals worth of only Rs. 11,800 crores were received. Now, it has risen to Rs.1,20,294 crores.
5.Â DueÂ to theÂ initiativesÂ taken upÂ in theÂ lastÂ Budget, especially the dutyÂ Â rationalization,Â Â we haveÂ noticed remarkableÂ accelerationÂ in theÂ fieldÂ of ElectronicsÂ manufacturing.Â Â In this connection, mobile manufacturingÂ presents very encouraging area.Â Â Â In 2014-15, the mobile unitsÂ Â manufacturedÂ Â in the country were Rs. 5.4 crores, which have more thanÂ Â doubled to Rs.11 crores in 2015-16.Â After the duty rationalizationÂ Â in the last Budget, 16 new mobile manufacturing unitsÂ Â have beenÂ Â set up in this financial year.
FURTHER NEW INCENTIVES IN THIS BUDGET:
Efforts madeÂ Â in theÂ previous BudgetsÂ of thisÂ governmentÂ for promoting electronic manufacturingÂ Â in IndiaÂ hasÂ alsoÂ gotÂ encouragingÂ boostÂ Â duringÂ this budgetÂ byÂ furtherÂ rationalizationÂ Â ofÂ dutyÂ Â structure.Â Â AsÂ aÂ resultÂ Â Â ofÂ thisÂ Â the domesticÂ manufacturersÂ Â Â Â ofÂ Routers,Â Â BroadbandÂ Â Modems,Â Set-TopÂ Boxes, Digital Video Recorders,Â Network Video Recorders,Â CCTV Camera,Â Lithium- IonÂ BatteryÂ wouldÂ enjoyÂ Â dutyÂ Â advantageÂ ofÂ 8.5%Â Â vis-a-visÂ importedÂ goods. Domestic valueÂ Â Â additionÂ in mobileÂ phoneÂ phones,Â battery,Â wired headsets/speakersÂ Â Â Â would enjoyÂ a dutyÂ advantageÂ of 10.5% vis-a-vis imported goods.Â ThisÂ Â willÂ Â alsoÂ Â encourageÂ Â domesticÂ Â manufacturing of components. Domestic manufacturingÂ Â of routersÂ Â and broadband modemsÂ Â willÂ Â further encourage manufacturing of telecom equipments.
In theÂ Â IT/ITeS (IT Enabled Services) sector, sunsetÂ Â dateÂ Â for Section 10AAof the Income Tax Act allowing tax benefits for IT units in SEZs has been extended from 2017Â Â till 2020.Â Â This will enable technology unitsÂ Â to set up and commence operations in SEZs.
A veryÂ Â significant incentive isÂ Â theÂ Â extensionÂ Â ofÂ SectionÂ 80Â JJAAÂ Â to Income TaxÂ ActÂ forÂ skillÂ developmentÂ toÂ services companiesÂ asÂ well.Â This will permit 30 % of additional wages paid to new workmen, deductible for 3 years. ThisÂ willÂ giveÂ aÂ bigÂ boostÂ Â toÂ theÂ Â BPOÂ operations,Â Â whichÂ thisÂ Â governmentÂ is pushing-inÂ a big way.
Encouragement to Digital Literacy & Digital Lockers:
Shri Prasad said that he isÂ Â happyÂ Â toÂ Â noteÂ Â Â thatÂ Â Â theÂ Â FinanceÂ Â Minister hasÂ Â Â provided for creation of Digital depository of school leaving certificates, college degrees and mark-sheets. ThisÂ Â would enhanceÂ Â theÂ Â footprint of cloudÂ Â technology in the Country.Â TheÂ IT departmentÂ Â hasÂ Â alreadyÂ laidÂ down theÂ frameworkÂ forÂ cloud technology andÂ will assistÂ inÂ theÂ expansion.
The Budget has given extraordinaryÂ Â expansionÂ to Digital Literacy inÂ theÂ Â country,Â Â consistingÂ ofÂ impartingÂ digitalÂ literacyÂ toÂ 6Â crore householdsÂ inÂ nextÂ Â 3 years. The IT department was keenly pushing for this expansion.Â As of now, against the target of 52.5 lakhs, more than 40 lakhs have been trained.
Use of AadharÂ Â platformÂ Â Â for deliveryÂ Â Â of services
The Finance Minister himself, hasÂ announced in theÂ Â budget, that government will nowÂ beÂ moving aÂ legislationÂ toÂ giveÂ aÂ statutoryÂ Â backingÂ to Aadhar,Â Â forÂ Â deliveryÂ ofÂ Â servicesÂ Â /Â Â Â subsidiesÂ Â /Â Â benefits,Â Â corningÂ outÂ Â Â of ConsolidatedÂ FundÂ Â Â ofÂ India.Â ThisÂ Â will prevent leakages by identifying the beneficiaries correctly and would encourage good governance.
The Minister is assuredÂ to noteÂ thatÂ in theÂ budget speech, Finance Minister hasÂ laidÂ greatÂ stressÂ on theÂ useÂ of digital platform across various departments. ThisÂ Â will further encourage consolidation of seminal programmed of Digital India
FDIÂ Â equity inflow in telecom Sector has touched a new high during FY 2014-15,Â whichÂ isÂ $2895Â million whichÂ isÂ 80%Â moreÂ Â thanÂ Â Â theÂ Â FDIÂ equityÂ inflow received duringÂ 2012-13Â ($304 million) andÂ Â Â FY 2013-14Â ($ 1307Â million) put together.
– STATUS OF NOFN (BharatNet) as on 29.02.2016
– End June 2014-
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â OFC pipe laid is 2292Â Â kms
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Optical fibre laid is 358 kms
-As on 29.02.16 –
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â OFC pipe laid is 1,24,797 kms (51,616 GPs)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Optical fibre laid is 96,597 kms (41,086 GPs)
Reforms in Postal department:
Efforts toÂ leverage theÂ vastÂ network of India PostÂ for implementing theÂ mandateÂ of financialÂ inclusionÂ hasÂ Â received aÂ renewed momentumÂ from theÂ Â BudgetÂ announcements.Â Â Â In May 2014, India PostÂ Â hadÂ Â onlyÂ Â 230Â Â Core Banking BranchesÂ Â offering anywhere Banking Services andÂ Â onlyÂ Â 4 ATMs. Today, it is aÂ matterÂ of greatÂ Â fulfillment thatÂ Â India PostÂ hasÂ Â notÂ onlyÂ installed more thanÂ Â 576Â ATMs butÂ Â hasÂ Â overtakenÂ theÂ StateÂ Â BankÂ of India toÂ become India’sÂ largestÂ CoreÂ Â BankingÂ Network havingÂ 18,231Â branches.Â Â By March, 2016 all the 25,000 Departmental Post Offices would offer Anywhere Banking facilities using Core Banking Solutions.Â 1000 ATMs shallÂ Â also be installed by 31stÂ Â March 2016.Â ThisÂ Â would imply thatÂ Â all PostÂ Â Office Savings accounts/certificatesÂ Â in all 155,000 Post Offices of lndia will come under Core Banking Solutions. As onÂ 29th February, 2016Â India PostÂ hasÂ issuedÂ 1,26,181 ATM/Debit Cards to itsÂ Â account holders.Â It is alsoÂ Â expected thatÂ Â Â by 31st March, 2016Â Â Â 20,000Â Â Micro ATMs shallÂ Â Â beÂ Â installedÂ Â across theÂ Â country. Further,Â Â India PostÂ Â hasÂ Â achieved newÂ Â heights in tapping theÂ Â potential of ecommerce. Its parcel revenues have witnessed a growth of 110% and it has collected more thanÂ Â Rs.1200 Crores from CashÂ Â on Delivery mode of payment for e-Commerce services.