A Boon for Digital India in Union Budget 2018.In the Union Budget 2018 speech, the Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley has notified that the government has doubled the allocation towards Digital India initiative to Rs.3, 073 crores in 2018-19. Not only this is the end, but the government has proposed for setting up 5 lakh wifi hotspots in rural areas, making Indian totally digital in the coming years. The proposals for hastening India’s movement to create a digital economy were mentioned in the budget speech of Arun Jaitley.
A View of the Digital India Proposals
Few proposals which were included in the budget speech of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley included procedures for encouraging digital payments, curbing the use of cryptocurrency, encouraging artificial intelligence for easy internet access to various villages of India etc. The government has also planned to bring the digital economy of India into the tax net, which means the government will now tax profits which have been made by digital firms in the country. The tax will be applied to all types of online advertisements, online searches, and various other digital products. Various big firms in India such as Google, Netflix or Facebook will be brought into the tax net in India.
In the Union Budget speech of Arun Jaitley, he proposed ways to curb the use of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum in India. The main reason behind this is that government considers it as a channel for money laundering or terrorist financing in the country, as the payments and transactions done in cryptographic form remain untraced and the transactions can be carried out anonymously. Blockchain technology is proposed in the Union budget speech to reduce the use of cryptocurrency and increasing other modes of digital payment in the country. Jaitley stated that the Indian Government does not consider the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method as legal and he has ensured to take all the measures against its illegal use. Blockchain methods will ensure much better security in the mode of digital payments. The government also considers the use of cryptocurrency as illegal because it violates the foreign exchange rules.
Wifi Hotspots in Villages
The announcement of the budget came along with the good news of providing 5 lakh Wifi hotspots in various rural areas of India. With the completion of Phase 1 of Bharat Net is considered as a big step in providing these hotspots so that more than 50 million Indians can easily access to the services of the Internet from rural areas as well. To promote this, the government has also allocated Rs.10, 000 crores for the telecom infrastructure. Bharat Net project is being actualized by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to make organized infrastructure for giving 100 Mbps broadband to all gram panchayats (roughly 250,000) in the nation in a staged way before the finish of 2018. The Union Budget 2017-18 designated Rs10, 000 crores towards Bharat Net to facilitate the project. As promised by the BJP government to make India digital before the year 2019, it seems Finance Minister Arun Jaitley showed in the Union Budget that the government has taken a step to fulfill that promise for India.