This Bud­get Brings Us One Click Closer to a Cash­less, Dig­i­tal In­dia

FM bridges the gap be­tween the work­ing class and the well-heeled

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

its move to­wards digi­ti­sa­tion.

As ex­pected in sev­eral quar­ters, the Bud­get gave a push to the dig­i­tal econ­omy, help­ing to for­malise sev­eral en­abling as­pects that could pro­pel the econ­omy to higher growth and re­duce de­pen­dence on cash. In many ways, tech­nol­ogy is the cat­a­lyst that can help that cause and the in­creased tar­gets and al­lo­ca­tions for ru­ral in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion, BharatNet and Aad­haar app-based PoS ter­mi­nals, are pos­i­tive steps in that direction. Dig­i­tal In­dia should ul­ti­mately help nar­row the eco­nomic im­bal­ance be­tween the work­ing class and the well-heeled. Taken to­gether with the im­pe­tus to af­ford­able hous­ing, which now en­joys in­fra­struc­ture sta­tus and will ben­e­fit from lower fund­ing costs, and in­creased al­lo­ca­tions for so­cial schemes, the Bud­get sought to ap­ply some balm over the wounds of the poor and mid­dle-class from the pangs of de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

For the startup world, there was some good news be­cause the gov­ern­ment is fi­nally be­gin­ning to realise some of the chal­lenges faced by these com­pa­nies. When break­ing into a tra­di­tional busi­ness space, it can some­times take longer for these firms to turn prof­itable sim­ply be­cause their ini­tial fo­cus is on solv­ing prob­lems rather than gen­er­at­ing prof­its. The pro­posal to ex­tend the profit-linked tax break for star­tups to three years in seven years, from five years ear­lier, will go a long way in fos­ter­ing the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in the coun­try.

An­other pos­i­tive take­away from the Bud­get was the prom­ise that the Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) would roll out on sched­ule. The coun­try has waited for this re­form for a long time and its swift roll­out is es­sen­tial if the econ­omy is to realise its full po­ten­tial. For all the moves in the right direction there were sev­eral ar­eas that con­tin­ued to re­main out of fo­cus, how­ever, such as the lack of com­mit­ment to im­prove ru­ral tele­com in­fra­struc­ture.

If our vil­lages are to jump on the band­wagon of eco­nomic pros­per­ity, a seam­less data network is a must.Still, the Bud­get has moved in the right direction, even as there is a lot more to do.

If our vil­lages are to jump on the band­wagon of eco­nomic pros­per­ity, a seam­less data network is a must

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.