Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget 2020 in the Parliament on Saturday, proposing several policies for all sectors. On those lines, the finance minister has proposed certain policies for the technology sector to boost economic growth in India.
In a major reform for this sector, the finance minister during her budget speech said that the government will soon roll out a policy to enable private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country. “Data is the new oil," she said.
Sitharaman said that India's new economy will be driven by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), 3D printing, drones, data storage, etc.
Here's a lowdown on what the Budget 2020 has on offer for the tech sector:
-Make in India scheme to make mobile phones, electronics in India:
Sitharaman proposed a policy to encourage manufacturing of electronics and semiconductors in India. The scheme is of course meant to boost the manufacturing of mobile phones and other electronic equipment in India. It will also increase employment opportunities in India.
- Private sector to build Data Centre parks in India
Data centre parks will be set up in India with the help of private sector. A policy that will enable private companies to build such parks across India will be proposed soon, said the finance minister.
-Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections
A new proposal on on how build Fibre to The Home (FTTH) through Bharatnet to link 100,000 Gram Panchayats over the next financial year. For this, the budget has allocated ₹6,000 crore for the expansion of Bharatnet, which is expected to boost regional language content streaming, audio and video in rural areas.
-ESOP tax relaxation, early-stage fund for startups in Budget
The finance minister announced a host of incentives including a dedicated early-stage fund for startups, relaxation of taxes levied on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and fresh tax rebates for startups based on their turnover.
-A digital platform for application and capture of IPRs
The finance minister also said the government will soon set up a digital platform to ease registration of intellectual property rights (IPRs) developed by entrepreneurs and startups.
-Knowledge Translation Clusters to be set up across different technology sectors including new and emerging areas to help startups
-For designing, fabrication and validation of proof of concept, Technology Clusters, harbouring test beds and small scale manufacturing facilities to be established.
-For startup boost, two new national level Science Schemes to be initiated to create a comprehensive database.
-Budget 2020 provided an outlay of ₹8,000 crore over a period five years for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.
-NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities,etc
-Targeting diseases with an appropriately designed preventive regime using Machine Learning and AI
-To scale up educational skills, the budget proposed up to one-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by Urban Local Bodies.
-150 higher educational institutions to start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021
-Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) to be integrated with e-NAM.