Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the 2022 Union Budget in the parliament. This year’s union budget focused on health, education, and digitisation of several industries across the country. While presenting the budget, the finance minister also laid down the government’s plans for the tech sector which included plans for 5G, broadband and mobile network in rural areas, energy and data sector, gaming and animation, and more. Let us take a look at 10 key areas that were talked upon in the technology space in the 2022-2023 Union Budget presentation.
1. 5G Rollout – With 5G being one of the most anticipated announcements during the budget presentation, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will roll out 5G telecom services during the financial year 2022-2023. The finance minister also said that the spectrum auction for the same will also be conducted in FY 22-23. Sitharaman stressed on the rollout of 5G services to better internet connectivity across the country and effectively developing the internet economy.
2. Drone In Farming Sector – Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kickstarted her Budget 2022 speech by stressing on the importance of drones in the farming sector and as well as how drones could help boost startups in India. Kisan Drones is said to be entrusted in deployment of drone technology in the sector, which also includes providing special monetary benefits that allows purchase or hire of drones for such purposes. The primary objectives of bringing drones into the sector is to reduce manpower, increase the efficiency of crop protection with chemicals, reduce the amount of water used for farming, and prevent humans from getting exposed to harmful pesticides.
3. Data Centre, Energy Storage System to Be Given Infrastructure Status – During her speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that data centre and energy storage system will be given infrastructure status to provide easy financing to the sector. While presenting the Union Budget 2022-23, she said an expert committee will be set up to suggest measures to help attract more investments.
4. Broadband and Mobile Internet In Rural Areas – While presenting the budget, FM Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will allocate 5 percent of the annual collections under the universal service obligations fund to enable broadband and mobile services in the rural and remote areas of the country. The finance minister said that this step will provide and promote research and development, and commercialisation of technology and solutions. “Our vision is that all villages and their residents should have the same access to e-services, communication facilities, and digital resources as urban areas and their residents,” she said.
5. Cheaper Mobile Chargers, Local Manufacturing of Wearables And More – Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also laid out plans for the government’s approach towards manufacturing electronics and electronic components in India. The Finance Minister announced that duty concessions are being given to parts of transformers, mobile phone chargers, camera lenses of mobile camera modules, and other such items and components.
6. Digital University – Sitharaman also announced a digital university that will be developed to provide access to schooling across the country for world-class quality education with personalised learning experience. This will be made available in different Indian languages. The university will be built on a networked hub model, and Sitharaman said that all the leading public Universities will collaborate on the network.
7. Digital Banking – During her presentation, the finance minister said that the government is encouraging sectors to take up digital banking. The government has proposed to set up 75 digital banking units in 75 districts by commercial banks. The financial support for digital payment ecosystem announced in the previous budget will continue, which will encourage further adoption of digital payments.
8. AVGC Task Force – This year’s Union Budget also had plans for those who want to pursue a career in animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC). The finance minister announced the creation of a new task force that will look at ways to build domestic capacity and also to serve the global demand in Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) sector. Sitharaman said that the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) sector will provide a huge opportunity for the young generation and also create new jobs for the youth. Dubbed as the AVGC promotion task force, the stakeholders will look at ways of serving this market and also cater to the global demand.
9. Digital Rupee – During the budget presentation, the FM also announced the introduction of a digital currency, which will lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system in India. The ‘Digital Rupee’ that has been proposed will be based on blockchain technology and will be issued by RBI in 2022-2023.
10. National Digital Health Ecosystem – The Union Budget presentation also hinted at an upcoming open platform for the national digital health ecosystem. Sitharaman said that the platform will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework, with universal access to health facilities.