The government will present the Union Budget today at 11 am.
This year’s budget will be an interim one and is expected to be followed by a full one in July 2019.
Piyush Goyal, the interim finance minister, will present the budget, as Arun Jaitley, finance minister is in the US for medical treatment.
Excerpts from the speech:
Digital India Revolution
India is now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data. Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years. The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world. Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities. More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens. The Common Service Centres are expanding their services and also creating digital infrastructure in the villages, including connectivity, to convert the villages into Digital Villages. The Government will make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years.
12: 18 PM
In the Indian ethos, anything which is good is supposed to bestow, cause, create and do good in all ten directions. I will, therefore, layout our vision for ten most important dimensions in 2030.
The First Dimension of this Vision will be to build physical as well as social infrastructure for a ten trillion dollar economy and to provide ease of living.
The Second dimension of our Vision is to create a Digital India reaching every sector of the economy, every corner of the country and impacting the life of all Indians. Digital Infrastructure and digital economy of 2030 will be built upon the successes achieved in recent years in digitisation of Government processes and private transactions. Our youth will lead us in this endeavour with innumerable start-ups creating digital India, and millions of jobs in this eco-system.
Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment is the Fourth Dimension of our Vision. This will be built upon the Make in India approach to develop grass-roots level clusters, structures and mechanisms encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups spread in every nook and corner of the country. India is now on the way to becoming a global manufacturing hub in various sectors including automobiles and electronics, defence and medical devices.
“This is not merely an Interim Budget, but a medium of the country’s development journey. All the transformation that we are witnessing, is because of the passion of the people of our nation. The credit goes to them only. Development has become a mass-movement during the period of our Government.
We will transform India into a leading nation of the world with the help of our people. We, along with them have laid the foundation. A grand edifice will be erected with their support. We have given a decisive leadership, whose
intent is clear, policy is transparent and integrity is resolute.
With this, I commend the Budget to this august House.”
“The focus on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to enable a positive impact on the lives of people is an encouraging step. Further, the expansion of rural industrialization using digital technologies, the development of clusters encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups, will boost rural manufacturing, job creation and strengthen the overall economy. We appreciate the government’s budget focus on empowering the middle class and the rural population. Initiatives such as monetary support for farmers and higher exemption limit in personal income tax slab would provide higher disposable income, thereby, leading to higher spending. I believe this will lead to consumption growth, giving impetus to the overall economy.”
Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India.
“The Internet & Mobile Association of India [IAMAI] has welcomed the announcements made in the interim budget by Shri Piyush Goyal today. The announcement of National Artificial Intelligence portal is expected to propel India on the path of leveraging advanced and disruptive technologies for growth and economic prosperity and growth. The budget acknowledges the innovation taking place in the country, saying India was now the second-largest hub for startups in the world. IAMAI has also welcomed the focus on clean energy and electric vehicles. According to IAMAI, Road transport significantly drives India’s climate change impact. It is a major fossil fuel consumer: consuming 70% of India’s diesel and 99.6% of India’s petrol in 2013. It is a significant GHG emitter: generating 8.7% of India’s total emissions – 64,317 gigagrams CO2e– in 2015. While India’s overall mitigation efforts are well underway, they would be undermined by inaction on transportation emissions, which estimates indicate would nearly quadruple between 2010 and the Paris Agreement’s 2030 deadline. This make India’s transportation sector a vital arena for climate change mitigation. Sri Goyal’s announcement is recognition of this and is in line with the plan of Hon’ble Minister for Power when he announced plans to shift India to an all-electric fleet by 2030. According to IAMAI, the Government’s vision to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years with the help of Common Service Centres (CSCs) is ambitious and will usher in the much needed digital revolution under the Digital India initiative, and will help in the last mile connectivity. This will also bridge the Rural-Urban digital divide and will open avenues to jobs and employment creation. IAMAI congratulates the government for this forward-looking budget”.
Dr. Subho Ray, President, IAMAI
“We are delighted to see the Government’s focus on setting up a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to bring the benefits of AI and related technologies to the common person. In recent research commissioned by Salesforce, 65% of Indian respondents were positive about AI and its usage. Businesses using AI have the opportunity to amplify our human intelligence, better connect to consumers and impact societies like never before. We are delighted and welcome the government’s visionary step to support and democratize access to AI and related technologies. This is equally important for businesses like Salesforce is the penetration of AI skills among the workforce. Globally, all eyes will continue to be on India and we look forward to being a part of this journey.
” Sunil Jose, Senior Area Vice President and Country Leader, Salesforce India.
“The government’s plans to set-up 100,000 digital villages in the next five years is a huge step towards leapfrogging India’s march on critical initiatives such as Digital India. By placing wireless connectivity at the heart of India’s development particularly in rural areas, the country is poised to further consolidate its position as the global hub for disruptive innovations,”
Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks
“We welcome the Government’s plan to create a digital infrastructure for 1 lakh villages in the country. The successful implementation of the Digital Village project will play a vital role in India’s digital transformation and vision to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. Cost effective and smart irrigation management system, connected gram panchayats, better education system and mobile health services which are enabled through Internet of Things, will lead to job creation, financial inclusion and provision of an economically viable village ecosystem.”
Jurgen Hase, CEO, UNLIMIT
“With India poised to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years, we welcome the Government’s proposal of ensuring the growth of SME’s & rural India through initiatives such as the promotion of digital villages. Additionally, through steps such as the establishment of a national center of artificial intelligence, the Government plans to skill India’s youth, through the adoption of new technologies such as AI, so that they can reach their full potential. As the technology landscape evolves rapidly, along with the infinite opportunities that it provides us, there are also a myriad of new challenges especially in terms of IT security and data protection. Even though Indian businesses (67 percent) were the highest hit by ransomware with an average impact cost of approximately USD 1.17mn and 2018 being the year of serious data breaches, there was very limited focus on IT security in the budget. That said, while we welcome the Governments proposed steps in strengthening the MSME & SME sectors that provide employment to millions of people, there still remains a pressing need for further investment in technology for data protection and IT Security, both from the Government and organization’s standpoint.”
Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales, India & SAARC, Sophos (Cyber Security)
“We feel this interim budget by Finance Minister is progressive and inclusive. It focuses on leveraging new technologies to build countrywide digital infrastructure, skill building, driving growth of MSME segment.
1. We applaud the vision to make India a USD 5Trillion economy in the next 5years. We feel a vibrant ESDM sector will play a key role in realizing this vision.
2. The focus on National program on AI will unleash large opportunity in intelligent electronics and automation and will create new business opportunity in nine focus areas.
3. Making 100,000 villages digital and 10,000 Crore investment in Telecom infrastructure will make universal broadband communication a reality and will lead to pan India deployment of new IoT based solutions.
4. Participation of the private sector in building products in strategic electronics will get a big boost with INR 300,000Cr Defence spending.
5. Allocation for National Education Mission of INR 37,752Cr, coupled with the emphasis on Skill Development will enable easier access to a skilled workforce for ESDM industry.
6. The tax relief for people with income less than INR 5L and interest rate subvention of 2 percent will help start-ups, MSMEs in ESDM sector as it will relieve the pressure on working capital.
7. 25% Government procurement from MSMEs, announcement to bring PSUs procurement under Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a welcome change. We would like to see more domestically designed, indigenously manufactured ESDM products to come under this and benefit from PMA.
8. While intelligent electronics are bringing new opportunities, to enable a large number of successful product companies in India, we hope to see Angel Tax abolished for ESDM start-ups and we also suggest the creation of a dedicated fund to incentive R&D.
9. This being an interim budget, some of the large scale investments needed in semiconductor and electronics for building a digitally secured India should be taken up post-election”.
Rajesh Ram Mishra, President at India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).
“Companies are deploying considerable investments in emerging technologies to match customer expectations. To support the deployment of these emerging technologies, skill development and enhancement is imperative amidst the current digital disruption scenario. According to MDSE’s annual report, 2017-18, the demand for skilled labor in 34 sectors across industries has been estimated to be over 12.8 Cr between 2017 and 2018. Interim FM in this Interim Budget has announced the decision of making the National center for Artificial Intelligence and building Centre of Excellence. The Government of India has opened the path for the youth in India to leverage the new state-of-the-art developments and upskill themselves to widen the jobs pool for themselves. We appreciate the GOI’s perspective of making India digitally enhanced and look forward to add value by providing the Indian talent with opportunities to grow in the IT industry.’’
Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, President-Aeris Communications & Chairman IET IoT Panel India
With the Interim Budget 2019-20, Government has announced to strengthen the Sagarmala Project which is a positive step towards transforming the nation through port modernization. The emphasis on port development will give a further impetus to PM Modi’s vision of Ease of Doing business in India. As per the World Bank report 2019 on Ease of Doing Business, India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19 indicating it is continuing its steady shift towards global standards. We welcome government’s push for ‘Trading across borders’ which shows an impressive improvement from 146 rank last year to 80th rank this year. Upgradation of port infrastructure, improvement of processes, and digitization of document submission has not only reduced Export/Import cargo handling time at ports but has significantly contributed towards improving the trading across border parameter and India’s impressive growth in the World Bank’s report. We hope that the government’s focus on the development of port infrastructure and capacity enhancement, improvement in last mile connectivity and development of multi-modal hubs to promote EXIM while reducing logistics cost and time will prove beneficial for the Indian economy in the long run thereby making India a global powerhouse. We believe that initiatives like installation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system at Major Ports to enhance security and remove bottlenecks for seamless movement of traffic across Port gates; DMICDC’s Logistics Databank system (LDB) deployment for tracking & tracing movement of EXIM container in the Major Ports thereby enabling the consigners and consignees to track the movement of the containers from LDB portal and Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) enabling direct movement of containers from factories / port without intermediate handling requirement, thus saving cost & time will help in fulfilling government’s vision of Ease of Doing Business in India.
Piyush Sinha, Deputy Managing Director NEC Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.
“The 2019 budget announcements certainly reaffirm the government’s commitment towards building a Digital India and creating opportunities for small scale Indian businesses for running successful e-commerce businesses. Though the decision to bring changes in the FDI policy for e-commerce platforms was to level the playing field for small scale sellers, the interim budget announcement comes bearing more favorable news. As announced in the interim budget, the government is aiming for one lakh digital villages in the next 5 years. This is going to prove as a strong economic driver by promoting digital payments and more importantly, exposing rural businesses to the prospects of selling online. At Shopmatic, it has been our vision to help aspiring entrepreneurs enter the world of e-commerce without the common problems of capital expenses, complexities involved. Our app will certainly help drive adoption to e-commerce even from remote parts of the country. We are glad that the government is pushing for digitalization in Indian villages and will be utilizing this opportunity to enhance our reach in the hinterlands of India and assist the rural artisans, craftsperson, sellers, and businesses in coming aboard the digital wave”.
Anurag Avula, CEO & Co-Founder, Shopmatic
“This is a forward-thinking, growth-oriented budget with a special focus for all, bridging the rural-urban divide while embracing modern digital technologies for the holistic development of the nation. The initiative to create one lakh digital villages in the next five years shows its commitment to bridging the digital divide. The government’s recognition of the importance of clean energy to build a pollution-free India is evident through its Vision 2030 roadmap. The initiative envisions India driving on Electric Vehicles with renewables becoming a major source of energy.”
JK Gupta, CFO, Tata Technologies
“With digital and renewable energy at its core, Budget 2019 is reflective of India’s commitment to foster the growth of an inclusive, sustainable economy. It is great to see the Government’s vision align with our overall goal to promote the adoption of new age technology such as Artificial Intelligence, that will lay the foundation of a new, digitized India. The government’s decision to build 1 Lakh digital villages is a step in the right direction to bridge the urban-rural divide and as an industry, we are committed to making this vision come true – Make in India + Digital India = Modern & equitable India.”
CP Gurnani MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra ― CT Bureau