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“A Digital Friendly Budget aimed at accelerating India’s Transfo…

Digital India Initiative of
the government of India has transformed the digital profile of India
significantly. Some of the key indicators of this are:

·        
Phone Users: From 95 Crore phone users in June 2014,
India today has 108 Crore mobile phone users.

·        
Aadhaar Holders: From 63 Crore Aadhaar
holders in 2014, India today has 111 Crore Aadhaar holders.

·        
Investments in Electronic Manufacturing:
Investments in electronic manufacturing which was just Rs. 11,000 Crore in June
2014, has increased to Rs. 1,27,880.

·        
Mobile Phone Manufacturing Hub: From 6 Crore mobile
handsets in 2014-15, India’s mobile manufacturing capacity has increased to 11
Crore mobile handsets in 2015-16. With 72 new mobile handset and component
manufacturing units set up in last two years, India has emerged as a mobile manufacturing
hub.

·        
Growth in other areas of Electronic Manufacturing:

 






Item

Production

2014-15

Production 2015-16

Production Growth

LCD/LED TVs

0.87 crore units

1.2 crore units

38%

Mobile handsets (Nos.)

6 crore units

11 crore units

83%

Mobile handsets

(Value terms)

Rs.18,900 crore

Rs.54,000 crore

185%

LED products

Rs.2,172 crore

Rs.3,590 crore

65%

·        
Common Service Centers: To provide digital services
to common people in villages the Common Services Centers were created. In June
2014, only 83,000 such centers were active across the country, which has now
increased to 2.05 lakh centers.

·        
Bharat Net: Optical Fibre Network to connect
villages of India has seen rapid growth. In June, 2014 only 358 kms of optical
fibre was laid. In January, 2017 1.72 lakh kms of optical fiber has been laid
across more than 76, 000 Gram Panchayats.

·        
MyGov: A new platform created for participative governance now has over
40 lakh registered users.

·        
Jeevan Pramaan Portal: A new initiative to provide
convenience to pension holders was created which now has 56 lakh registered
pensioners.

·        
Digi Locker:  A new initiative to provide safe
online document storage to citizen now has more 42 lakh users. More than 165
Crore digital documents have been issued by the Government in these lockers.

·        
Scholarship Portal: Online scholarship was
easily made available to the students. 1.4 Crore students have registered under
this.

·        
Online Hospital Appointment: Online appointment
services in 60 major hospitals have been started. Total 47 lakh appointments
have been taken online.

·        
eNAM: Online National agriculture Market was created so that Farmers
can get the Best price for their produce. Today more than 8.5 lakh farmers have
registered on this portal.

·        
Growth in Digital Transactions: eTaal portal which
measures the digital transactions of various eGovernance services has seen a
rapid growth:

·        
In 2013- 66.25 lakh transactions per day

·        
In 2014- 96.9 lakh transactions per day

·        
In 2015- 1.85 crore transactions per day

·        
In 2016- 3 crore transactions per day

·        
Computerization of Land Records: Land records have
been computerized in 31 states and Union Territories. 
Record
of Rights (RORs) made online for 22 States/UTs. Bhu-Naksha/ Map digitization
done for 15 States/UTs.

·        
Digi Dhan Abhiyaan: To promote digital payments
across the country, Digi Dhan Abhiyaan was launched in December, 2016. Under
this effort of the Ministry, more than 2 Crore people and 7.18 lakh shopkeepers
were trained in digital payments across 5636 blocks of 640 districts.

 

Taking this pace of digital
development the Union Budget 2017 has not only given an impetus to the existing
efforts but has clearly outline the roadmap for future of digital development
of India. It categorically focused on strengthening digital Infrastructure and
promoting cashless transactions in the country.

 

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble
Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law &
Justice, GoI said, “The budget of Modi Government for 2017-18 is historic
and unprecedented.  This is a budget for bold India, Clean India, eager to
tap its potential. Based on the pillars of efficiency, transparency and
inclusiveness, this is budget for Digital India. Enthused by the historic
decisions of the government like Transparency in political funding,
demonitisation  of Rupee and the resultant curb on black Economy, the
budget for the year 2017-18 is all about Clean India, Energised India and
Transformed India.
” 

 

Speaking on the relevance of
the Union Budget 2017-18 to Electronics and IT Sector, Shri Ravi Shankar
Prasad,
said, “As India is now on the cusp of a massive digital
revolution, promotion of a digital economy is an integral part of Government’s
Strategy to clean the system and weed out Corruption and Black Money. It has a
transformative impact in terms of greater formalisation of the economy and
mainstreaming of financial savings into the Banking system. This, in turn, is
expected to energise private investment in the country through lower cost of
credit.”

 

“Digital Economy aims for
speed, accountability and transparency. We are also creating an eco-system to
make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Over 250 investment
proposals for electronics manufacturing have been received in the last 2 years,
totalling an investment of Rs 1.26 lakh crores. A number of global leaders and
mobile manufacturers have set up production facilities in India. A shift to
digital payments has huge benefits for the common man. The earlier initiative
of our Government to promote financial inclusion and the JAM trinity were
important precursors to our current push for digital transactions”,
added
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.

 

The recently launched BHIM
App
by the Government of India will unleash the power of mobile phones for
digital payments and financial inclusion. So far, over 140 lakh people have
adopted the BHIM app. The Government will launch two new schemes to promote the
usage of BHIM; viz., Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a
Cashback Scheme for merchants

 

Aadhar Pay, a
merchant version of Aadhaar Enabled Payment System, will also be launched
shortly.  This will be specifically beneficial for those who do not have debit
cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones. A Mission will be set up with a target
of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhaar Pay,
IMPS and debit cards. Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh new
PoS terminals by March 2017.  They will be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh
Aadhaar based PoS by September 2017.  

 

Keeping in view
the need to promote cashless transactions, exemption from BCD, Excise/CV
duty
and SAD on miniaturized POS card reader for m-POS, micro ATM
standards version 1.5.1, Finger Print Readers/Scanners and Iris Scanners been
brought down to nil. Simultaneously, exemption is also extended to parts and
components for manufacture of such devices, so as to encourage domestic
manufacturing of these devices. I am sure you will notice that there are a
number of other measures that are aimed at improving the Ease of Doing Business
and also for encouraging start ups.

 

The focus would be on rural and semi
urban areas through Post Offices, Fair Price Shops and Banking Correspondents
and cooperative Sector. Support has been provided for NABARD for
computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional PACS with the Core
Banking System of District Central Cooperative Banks. This will be done in 3
years at an estimated cost of Rs 1,900 crores, with financial participation
from State Governments. This will ensure seamless flow of credit to small and
marginal farmers. The coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) will be
expanded from the current 250 markets to 585 APMCs. Steps would be taken to
promote digital payments in petrol pumps, fertilizer depots, municipalities,
Block offices, road transport offices, Universities, colleges, hospitals and other
institutions, such as using the recently launched BHIM App.  A proposal to
mandate all Government receipts through digital means, beyond a prescribed
limit, is under consideration.  Further, steps will be taken for linking of
individual demat accounts with Aadhaar.

 

Digital
Inclusion remains of central concern to this Government. In order that people
in rural areas are able to access quality services, the Government has
announced that a DigiGaon initiative will be launched in order to
provide tele-Medicine, education and skills through use of digital
technologies. For senior citizens an Aadhar based Smart Card containing health
details will be introduced initially on a pilot basis in 15 districts in
2017-18. This week the Cabinet has approved a scheme for digital literacy for 6
crore rural households– Prime Minister Gram Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan PMGDISHA
which will be strengthened through the network of the Common Service Centre. We
expect that this will further open up opportunities for livelihood in digital
arena in rural areas. It is to be noted that CSCs have generated employment
opportunities for over 5 lakh youth in rural areas.

 

Government is all set to launch the SWAYAM
platform

with at least 350 online courses will leverage information Technology and
enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best of the
faculties present in the country, access High Quality reading resources,
participate in discussion forums, take tests and earn academic grades. Access
to SWAYAM will further be widened by linkage with DTH channels,
dedicated to education.

The Government of India is
planning to introduce a
new and restructured Central scheme,
namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) will be launched in
2017-18. The allocation for incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF exponentially
increased to an all time high of Rs 745 crores in 2017-18. Duties have been
rationalized which will provide boost to manufacturing of LED lights and solar
cells and modules.

 

Commenting on the tax
proposals, Hon’ble minister said, “The thrust of my tax proposals in this
Budget is stimulating growth, relief to middle class, affordable housing,
curbing Black Money, promoting digital economy, transparency of political
funding and simplification of tax administration. Besides,

reduction in Income Tax for smaller companies
with annual
turnover upto Rs 50 crore to 25% will make our MSME sector more competitive as
compared to large companies
”.

 

cyber security being very
critical for safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial sector
and one of the major factors behind the Digital drive, the government is
setting up a

Computer Emergency Response Team for the Financial Sector
(CERT-Fin)
.  This entity will work in close
coordination with all financial sector regulators and other stakeholders.

 

NNK/MD