In this Budget the focus on rural India through better infrastructure, access to power and electricity, better roads, and digital literacy is much needed to narrow the gap between rural and urban India. This is a logical extension of the Smart City campaign and opens up job opportunities within.

The increased budget around infrastructure and skilling, the 100 per cent exemption being provided for start-ups and the impetus for women entrepreneurs is a move in the right direction. The outlay on higher education showcases the right intent. However, engagement with the private sector in execution shall be the key to its success. The digital repository of degrees, besides the upside of safekeeping and savings, shall be a big boost for employers to tackle misrepresentation of qualifications. With relation to job creation, the impetus towards incentivising hiring of first time employees through government picking up the tab for the EPF contribution of 8.33 per cent for a period of three years is interesting.

Rituparna Chakraborty, Senior V-P, TeamLease Services Ltd