Union Budget 2017 and its impact on Tech

The Union Budget for 2017 was announced by the Honorable Finance Minster Shri Arun Jaitley on February 1 and it covers a lot of interesting announcements related to the IT sector. Now, we take a look at some major announcements made for the IT sector.

Source : finmin.nic.in
  • The Finance Minister has announced that Railway tickets booked via IRCTC won’t attract  any kind of service charges.
  • A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardization and indigenisation of hardware and software.
  • The Finance Minister has also announced that the recently concluded spectrum auctions have removed spectrum scarcity from the country.
  • By the end of 2017 – 18, high speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, under BharatNet. A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele – medicine, education and skills through digital technology.
  • For creating an eco-system to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing a provision of ₹ 745 crores in 2017-18 in incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF.
  • Customs duty on populated printed circuit boards used in the manufacturing of mobile phones being hiked from zero percent to 2 percent. It may have an impact on the prices of mobile phones.
  • FM also announced that the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) will be abolished and a new framework for FDI will be created.
  • Web based interactive Pension Disbursement System for Defence Pensioners will be established.
  • A Computer Emergency Response Team for Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) will be established.
  • 125 lakh people have adopted the BHIM app so far. The Government will launch two new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM; these are, Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants.
  • Aadhar Pay, a merchant version of Aadhar Enabled Payment System, will be launched shortly.
  • A Mission will be set up with a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards.
  • A proposal to mandate all Government receipts through digital means, beyond a prescribed limit, is under consideration
  • Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh new POS terminals by March 2017. They will be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh Aadhar based PoS by September 2017.
  • The FM proposed to create a Payments Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.
  • The FM also proposed SWAYAM platform, leveraging IT, to be launched with at least 350 online courses. This would enable students to virtually attend courses taught by the best faculty. Shri Jaitley also said that the access to Swayam would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.
  • For senior citizens, Aadhar based Smart Cards containing their health details will be introduced.

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