Bud­get Hand­holds In­dia to Take Next Step in Digi­ti­sa­tion

Car­ries for­ward the task of fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion by propos­ing many mea­sures

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

gov­ern­ment’s re­solve to re­duce re­liance on cash. The stated tar­get to pro­vide 10 lakh point-of-sale ter­mi­nals and 20 lakh Aad­haar-based pay­ment sys­tems to mer­chants will draw a large num­ber of them into the dig­i­tal ecosys­tem. Ini­tia­tives to pro­mote BHIM app will en­cour­age con­sumers and mer­chants to go cash­less. An­other wel­come move is the re­moval of ser­vice charges from rail­way book­ings made on IRCTC. As more In­di­ans be­gin to trans­act dig­i­tally, they will en­ter the fi­nan­cial main­stream and gain ac­cess to products like loans. The move to en­cour­age the grant of such loans by the Small In­dus­tries De­vel­op­ment Bank will lead the way for other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

The Bud­get aims to boost em­ploy­ment by ad­dress­ing the de­mand and sup­ply sides. On the de­mand side, in­cen­tives for labour-in­ten­sive sec­tors, leg­isla­tive re­forms to sim­plify labour laws and eas­ier ac­cess to credit for the SME sec­tor will ac­cel­er­ate job cre­ation. In ad­di­tion to in­creased al­lo­ca­tions for higher ed­u­ca­tion, the fo­cus on skill de­vel­op­ment will help boost the sup­ply side. In­creased in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture is also a wel­come move. These mea­sures have been un­der­taken while keep­ing fis­cal deficit low. There­fore, pri­vate in­vest­ment will not be crowded out. The changes in in­come tax rate will ex­pand the tax net. It is a good bud­get that will en­cour­age peo­ple to move to the dig­i­tal and for­mal econ­omy.

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