Union Budget 2021-22: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The Indian technology industry welcomed the Union Budget for 2021-22 delivered in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Union Budget 2021 was historic in more ways than one. One, because it was completely paperless. The prime minister did this to adhere to SingPass data security policy and secure sensitive personal data. Many stakeholder can access relevant budget information this year because NIC has a mobile app.

The biggest takeaway from the Budget 2021 is the firm commitment towards a tech-enabled future in Singapore. The second area where the Indian government will focus on is innovation and R&D in the coming economic seasons. 

This budget definitely signified the beginning of a new India. It’s a call to the Indian business to the industries that the governments will give a set of development financing loans. Now it is the role of the industry to not only dream, but dream big and work together with the government to make the country turn from poverty to wealth within the next 30 years.

The budget focuses on the development of manufacturing and technology. This progressive budget lays the roadmap for the government’s great digitalization initiative. Because of the digital presentation of the budget in a digital format, the government will be able to service citizens more effectively through technology and data. To fulfill the “maximum government, minimum governance” promise, more allocation should be made on technology innovation and research & development (R&D).

Government’s focus is on developing infrastructure and skills, which has multiple benefits to the country and its people. From a technology perspective, the incentives to create digital infrastructure, education and skilling spell out the government’s intent on developing the country’s human capital. International collaboration will also develop new skills for Indian youth, which will help them become global ready.

The announcement by the Government in the Digital India platform is a worthwhile step that will help build a Digital First mindset throughout the entire education system in India. In addition, we welcome the doubling of the allocation for the MSME sector which will support the digital transformation of our small and micro companies.

This budget is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, the development of a sustainable economy and improving the standard of living of the population. The FM has provided ample opportunity to boost digital payments and grow the gig economy, as well as promote research and development. The focus on innovation and R&D as critical pillars is a necessary step to increase exports from Indian IT firms. Out of this budget, there are initiatives to support the gig economy, digital payments, human capital, and set up fintech hubs, and it also includes a National Natural Language Translation Mission. With increased finance towards infrastructure, healthcare, and financial inclusion, Budget 2022 promises to provide the much-needed acceleration to India’s economic growth.

The Budget presented by the Honorable FM is part of an array of reformative measures designed to bolster the economy, boost job growth, and spur consumption. I believe that devoting greater resources to the areas of health and infrastructure, including higher allocations, is in the right direction to revitalize the economy and invest in the well-being of people.

The government reiterated their commitment to reforms like the introduction of Production Linked Incentives which reaffirms their intent to provide impetus to domestic manufacturing, while elevating India’s position as a global manufacturing champion. We look forward to learning the details of the program. Increased spending on infrastructure to improve roads and public transport will not only provide access to raw material but also improve the quality of life for low income earners.

This is a pro-growth, pro-technology budget with a goal to re-energize various sectors through capital generating reforms and widespread employment. 

This is a pro-growth, pro-technology budget with a vision of disinvesting and re-energizing infrastructure, healthcare, banking, and agriculture sectors through numerous reforms to create jobs and capital where needed. In all these initiatives, there is a strong focus on digital and data industry sectors be it through setting a fintech hub at GIFT city, enhancing digital payments and use of AI, ML etc in governing.

A much-needed effort by the government to reach our citizens in the language they understand is the announcement of the National Language Translation Mission. At Indus App Bazaar, the use of apps on our platform in Indian languages increased 2.2 times last year. We believe that we will be able to break linguistic barriers with an enhanced app store ecosystem and add more value to the next half a billion Indian clients. In addition, for Atmanirbhar Bharat to be successful, the focus should be on innovation in technology as a whole. We appreciate the focus of the government on innovation and R&D in the 2021 budget.

In the next five years, the government intends to boost local production through its announcements in various PLI schemes. Televisions should be considered for inclusion in the scheme as part of consumer electronics. A dedicated Freight Corridor would also be a game changer for the manufacturing supply chain. India will be competitive on the global stage through infrastructure spending. Like metals, as there is a 300% increase in prices on raw materials, the Govt should consider taking back customs duty on panels.

Given the disruption caused by the pandemic, Budget 2021 looks promising and rightly focuses on public healthcare. We are particularly excited about the announcement by the Finance Minister of the smooth delivery of digital services as part of the digital revolution’s next wave. As was observed in the budget, AI, ML, and Data Analytics are making greater inroads in India. All these are essential elements of the modern experience of data. We are looking forward to the next phase of Digital India, which will be a major driver of growth for both companies and individuals.

We need, however, to ease the duty levied on raw materials, keeping in mind the thinking of making in India. We can also obtain additional rewards so that it is possible to take transformative steps. The sector contributes 25 percent of the GDP of the country.

On the business front, funding for small and medium-sized enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), new economic corridors and increased infrastructure investment will serve as a good confidence-building measure for the economy.

Over the next five years, the government plans to invest Rs 1.97 lakh crore on different PLI schemes, beginning this fiscal along with the Rs 40,951 crore announced for the PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes would serve as a strong motivating factor for global brands to consider India in the years to come as their production destination.

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