Budget proposes ₹6,000 cr to connect all gram panchayats under Bharat Net

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on February 01, 2020

Hikes customs duties on mobile phone parts to promote ‘Make in India’

With ‘data is the new oil’ in mind, the government has proposed to further enhance the use of technology and to spread the reach across the country, the Budget proposes to provide ₹6,000 crore to BharatNet programme in 2020-21.

The said amount will be used to link one lakh gram panchayats this year with Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections through BharatNet. This will fulfill the vision of providing digital connectivity to all ‘public institutions’ like Anganwadis, health and wellness centres, government schools, at gram panchayat level, the government said.

Data technology

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), 3D printing, drones, DNA data storage, quantum computing are re-writing the world economic order.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed further measures by the government to take advantage of these new technologies. She asserted that analytics, fintech and IoT are changing our lives. Therefore, she proposed to soon bring out a policy to enable the private sector in building Data Centre Parks throughout the country, thus enabling firms to incorporate data in every step of their value chains.

The FM also noted that quantum technology is opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, and cyber security with widespread applications. Thus, the Minister proposed to provide an outlay of ₹8,000 crore over a period of five years for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.




Prakash Mallya, Vice-President and MD – Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India, said that policies and investments enabling data centres and quantum computing will help India spur the development of new breakthroughs across sectors. “Intel believes that technologies like AI, IoT, and machine learning will play a pivotal part in this journey. We look forward to strengthening our work with the government in enabling technology innovation and skilling India’s workforce,” he said.

On the other hand, the government proposed to increase customs duties on some of the components for cellular mobile phones from April 1.

For instance, it has increased the custom duties on Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) to 20 per cent from 10 per cent, Vibrator/ Ringer of mobile phones from nil to 10 per cent and display panel and touch assembly to 10 per cent from nil. The FM noted that these changes are made to promote ‘Make in India’ under Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP).

‘Exports will rise’

“The government needs to include IT, Datacom, Medical and other sub-sectors of electronics too. While the scheme is still in the works, this will result in rise in exports from India,” said Nitin Kunkolienker, President, Manufacturers Association Of Information Technology.

Prashant Singhal, Emerging Markets -Technology, Media and Telecom Leader, EY, said: “With the National Electronic Policy in force, the budget is sync with the government’s endeavour to target manufacturing of one-billion indigenous mobile handsets, 60 per cent of which is likely to be for exports and promote domestic manufacturing in the value chain of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) to achieve $400 billion by 2025.”

Published on February 01, 2020

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