India this August 2022 will complete its 75 years of Independence. In the journey of the next 25 years, India is preparing itself towards a digitized world and The Union Budget of the Financial year 2022-2023 reflects upon the same. While emphasizing especially on making India digital, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, reading her speech from a ‘Made in India’ tablet for the second consecutive financial year, noted our country’s unshakable efforts towards the recovery of the economy. With a reassuring growth of 9.2%, India is all set from setting up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts to bringing 5G with setting fibre optic cables all over rural India.
India will enter another fiscal deficit with currently being at 6.9%, expected to go down to 6.4% this year with a target of reaching 4% by 2025. This new budget feels like a breath of fresh air. The Indian government has taken an initiative towards the development of emerging sectors like fintech, digital currency to boost the digital economy as being the primary goal to attain in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ vision of India@100. Amidst the pandemic, when every student has been forced to sit in front of laptops and work from home, under the PME-Vidhya Scheme, the new budget aims at expanding the existing 12 channels to 200 channels with the educational content being available in all regional languages for classes 1st to 12th. Not only this, to promote online training, Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood (DESH-Stack e-portal) will be launched. One of the oldest yet most significant sectors of our country: the post office sector will now come under a core banking system. One hundred per cent of 1.5 Lakh post offices will now be digitized which will not only be a boon to the farmers and the senior citizens but will also bring awareness towards the banking sector of Post office divisions.
There was a special emphasis on introducing a digital currency using blockchain which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during the next financial year, making transactions much easier and faster. Amongst promoting the digital rupee, the Indian government has also shown certain acceptance towards the new cryptocurrency and its trading. Even though crypto as a currency might not be allowed but with the new 30% tax rule on profits made by digital assets, there is a possibility of it being accepted as an asset. With this, losses adhered to such assets will neither be allowed to be set off against any other asset or income nor be allowed to carry forward.
Drones have gained major popularity amongst the Indian Government as was also shown during the Beating Retreat 2022. Under the Drone as a Service (DAS), Kisan Drones will be used for crop assessment, digitization of land records and even spraying nutrients. With the involvement of technology at every step, the Indian Government aims at making the agricultural sector more digitized and transparent along with launching funds with blended capital to finance agriculture start-ups. Fascinatingly, it has been proposed that the R&D sector will be opened for academia, start-ups and industry with 25% of defence RnD budget embarked for the same. Industries thus can do a lot of RnD and in collaboration with DRDO can participate in design, development and growth benefiting the defence sector. India now looks at an eco-friendly and sustainable future. A lot of emphasis has been given to the use of natural resources like electricity and solar energy. In order to bring in sustainable electric vehicles, a battery swapping policy has been provided as an alternative to setting up charging stations in urban areas. This will be an eco-friendly approach while also saving time and cost in transitioning from diesel and petrol to batteries. The plan to bring 5G to India is in full motion. The government will conduct the required spectrum auction in 2022 to bring in action 5G mobile services by private telecom providers. It is hoped that the telecommunication sector in general and 5G, in particular, will bring greater job opportunities and enable growth. India has successfully crushed British stereotypes and is now moving forward with a self-built nation identity. Digitalisation continues to gain momentum for futuristic and inclusive growth. Given the widespread energy on new-age technology, we are looking towards a promising future for Digital India and budget 2022 has laid the foundation to steer the economy over Amrit Kaal, continuing with the concept of sustainability on the vision of Budget 2021.