FM Piyush Goyal presented interim budget 2019-2020. Budget 2019 highlights artificial intelligence (AI), Digital India and related technologies implementation with objective to take benefits from it. Government is planning to develop ‘National Artificial Intelligence Portal’. This decision comes at time when Foxconn Technology has expressed their interest to develop Advanced Industrial Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Center in India.
In his speech Mr. Goyal Said, “In order to take the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies to the people, a National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been envisaged by our Government. This would be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with Centres of Excellence. Nine priority areas have been identified. A National Artificial Intelligence portal will also be developed soon”.
“Government has undertaken many effective steps to strengthen MSME sector, which provides employment to crores of people. Recently, a scheme of sanctioning loans upto Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes has been launched. GST-registered SME units will get 2% interest rebate on incremental loan of Rs 1 Crore. The requirement of sourcing from SMEs by Government enterprises has been increased to 25%. Of this, the material to the extent of at least 3% will be sourced from women owned SMEs”- He Said.
On Digital India, He said, “India is now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data. Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years. The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world. Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities. More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens. The Common Service Centres are expanding their services and also creating digital infrastructure in the villages, including connectivity, to convert the villages into Digital Villages. The Government will make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years”
Download Budget 2019- 2020 Piyush Goyal’s Speech [pdf] Courtesy: www.indiabudget.gov.in
IT Experts Reaction on Budget 2019
Deepak Maheshwari, Director, Government Affairs, India, Symantec
“The Budget 2019 acknowledges the pivotal role of digital technology in India’s evolution to a five-trillion dollar economy over the next five years. Budget proposals such as those on artificial intelligence, one lakh digital villages and the thrust on RFID usage will not only fuel entrepreneurship, but also unleash enormous job opportunities.
In addition, with the continued momentum on digitizing transactions using Aadhaar and the need for real-time monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of various government schemes, the critical role of cyber security resilience and data protection towards fostering and inculcating trust cannot be over-emphasized.
It would be desirable that the forthcoming full budget later this year mandates setting aside 10 percent of the technology layout of every government project exclusively towards cyber security, as per the recommendations of the NASSCOM Task Force. The ensuing consultations on data protection legislation should result in a comprehensive, forward-looking, world-class enactment that enables and empowers people and businesses to use technology with confidence.”
Sanjay Jalona,CEO & MD, L&T Infotech
“The continued support by the government on new age concepts such as AI that has the power to emerge as not only national assets but global disruptors is a huge trigger to further advancements in these fields. The role of such exponential technologies in driving the nation’s development is immense and provides a much-needed avenue to address and overcome pertinent age-old issues. Furthermore government’s vision for 2030 to place India as a modern, technology-driven, high growth and transparent society including leading the world in transport through electric vehicles and energy storage devices further emphasizes the role of digital technologies in transforming not only businesses but overall living standards.”
Rahul Kumar, Country Manager India and SAARC at F-Secure
“Leading the world in mobile data consumption is a big milestone for India and promises a great opportunity for development. The lower rates of 4G data are pushing the opportunities for digital growth, even in the hinterlands of India. We believe that the next crucial step will be addressing cybersecurity concerns, as a number for first-time users; and users with a lack of nuanced understanding of cybersecurity are expected to on-board the digital bandwagon. Hence, educating the new internet users about data privacy and online safety should be highly prioritized. As the world moves towards digitization and IoT connected devices, personal data is the most vulnerable commodity and must be carefully safeguarded”
Mr. Piyush Sinha, Deputy Managing Director, NEC Technologies India
“With the Interim Budget 2019-2020, Government has announced to strengthen the Sagarmala Project which is a positive step towards transforming the nation through port modernization. The emphasis on port development will give a further impetus to PM Modi’s vision of Ease of Doing business in India.As per the World Bank report 2019 on Ease of Doing Business, India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19 indicating it is continuing its steady shift towards global standards. We welcome government’s push for ‘Trading across borders’ which shows an impressive improvement from 146 rank last year to 80th rank this year. Upgradation of port infrastructure, improvement of processes, and digitization of document submission has not only reduced Export/Import cargo handling time at ports but has significantly contributed towards improving the trading across border parameter and India’s impressive growth in the World Bank’s report.
We hope that the government’s focus on development of port infrastructure and capacity enhancement, improvement in last mile connectivity and development of multi-modal hubs to promote EXIM while reducing logistics cost and time will prove beneficial for the Indian economy in the long run thereby making India a global power house. We believe that initiatives like installation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system at Major Ports to enhance security and remove bottlenecks for seamless movement of traffic across Port gates; DMICDC’s Logistics Databank system (LDB) deployment for tracking & tracing movement of EXIM container in the Major Ports thereby enabling the consigners and consignees to track the movement of the containers from LDB portal and Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) enabling direct movement of containers from factories / port without intermediate handling requirement, thus saving cost & time will help in fulfilling government’s vision of Ease of Doing Business in India”.
Takayuki Inaba, Managing Director, NEC Technologies India
“The Government’s effort towards using advanced technology like AI for masses is a welcome step. AI has been one of the biggest technological advancements in the recent past. The government’s vision of developing a national program on AI will set the implementation process in motion and help people and government immensely. Identifying priority areas for AI hubs will streamline the development work in the AI domain and give a certain direction to the start-ups working on this technology. All these efforts will promote the use of technology and digitization and play an important role in the development of the economy”.
Sanjeev Gulati, Country Director India and SAARC at VIVOTEK
“The inclination of IP surveillance industry towards the AI technology is expected to further boost with the establishment of National Artificial Intelligence Portal. Not only this, the ongoing smart surveillance projects in railways is another positive development as Indian railways have been allocated a lion’s share in this year’s budget. India, on the other hand, is also fast-developing its highways with a prime focus on rural roads. Smart surveillance can tangibly increase the efficiency of authorities on keeping a track of such projects which will later also ensure safe and secure traffic management.”
Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, Axis Communications India & SAARC
“The Budget 2019
depicts the milestone set towards the rise in GDP growth in last five years. It
brings us one step closer towards the economic growth as part of the five years
plan with key focus on infrastructure development allocating budgets for Roads,
Ports, Transport and Infrastructure. We welcome the government’s focus on the
construction and development of railways, airports, highways by announcing 100
more operational airports and doubling the passenger traffic.
Also applaud the
continued focus and investments towards Rail infrastructure helping Indian
Railways attain highest safety recognition last year. This impetus is not only
around Make in India but increasing speed, service and citizen safety with the
upcoming Vande Bharat Express train announcement.
huge investment in highly advanced technological sectors like Geospatial and
Defense, envisioning India becoming a launch pad for satellites as part of
Vision 2030, reaffirms the Digital India vision holistically. Proposal towards
raising the budget to Rs 3 lakh crore is a welcome move for protecting our
soldiers at the borders who are the pride and honour of the nation. India is
now definitely at the cusp of digital transformation and this infrastructural
growth will augment its positioning globally.”
Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp
“The Government, in its Budget 2019 today has articulated a compelling vision for India, both for the medium and long term. It has provided direction, and a finite and ambitious goal for India, of becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030. I look forward to the details and to the Government marking progress against it. For the short term, this is a budget that has something for everyone, but more particularly the middle class, the agricultural community and marginalized sections of society. The sense of inclusion, financial as well as welfare is welcome and much needed to build the force for a stronger nation that can march towards what I call Vision 2030.”
Kunal Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Priority Vendor
”As India’s largest early payment platform, we at Priority Vendor believe that the interim budget 2019 carries some of the significant developments, especially for our SME partners. Businesses registered as SMEs will now receive a 2% loan relaxation by the government, thus easing their access to organised credit facilities. Furthermore, the announcement also gave a boost to SME suppliers, making it mandatory for the government projects to source 25% of their requirements from SMEs. The segment has also been bogged down with the GST compliance, however as per the announcement, SMEs with a turnover of less than 5 Cr need to only file GST once in three months.”
Arun Nathani, CEO, Cybag
“This budget 2019 is providing major boost to real estate segment through fiscal incentives like extension of benefit Under Section 80 IBA, no tax on notional rent on unsold inventory for two years, no notional rent on two self-occupied properties instead of one. Additionally, direct benefit of INR 6,000 to small farmers will provide positive sentiments and will have a positive cascading effect on GDP growth. We welcome the step to promote AI hubs in India which will help to build technical competence and have a long-lasting impact from the technology point of view for the future of India.
This budget has
populist and election-oriented flavour, Government will have to balance
the spending and keep the fiscal deficit under control.”
Prashanth G J, CEO at TechnoBind
“The one thing that stood out in the Budget 2019 is the putting up of the Vision 2030. While there are no details available as yet in terms of the implementation of this vision the fact that the government is thinking long term is well appreciated.
The focus on the Digitization will go a long way in improving the social and economic fabric of the country – be it creation of jobs, uplifting the lower end of the society reducing the income gap and many more. The announcing of the 5 Lakh Digital Villages is really welcome. It will go a long way to leverage the benefits of technology right up to the grass root level. Especially in a country like India which has always been challenged from a penetration of technology this will be a big boost.
Also, another good thing that we got from today’s budget is Income Tax returns being processed within 24 hours. While one needs to wait and watch in terms of the practicality of this but it’s a welcome move in the right direction”.
Mayank Bhangadia, CEO & Co-Founder, Roposo
“The government has delivered what it promised. The budget 2019 is, indeed, a huge relief for anyone and everyone. From farmers to startups, every person in India will benefit from this budget. It was really important to digitise rural India and show them the importance of Internet. The announcements of digitising 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years will prove to be just that. Tax exemption – the biggest announcement – is a massive relief for the middle class. Entrepreneurship is being promoted, which will clearly lead to jobs being created. The government has picked the pulse of job creation by boosting entrepreneurship, something which will most definitely lead to creation of jobs, especially for the youth. If that was not enough, the budget has taken care of unskilled laborers as well.”
Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD, Pegasystems India
“The government has given fair impetus to the technology sector,
and indicates its commitment to use technology as a platform to build a Digital
India that reaches every citizen, by transforming 1 lakh villages into Digital
Focusing on AI in two consecutive budgets, the announcement of a
national centre for AI supported by Centres of Excellence in 9 priority areas
conveys how important this key technology is for the government, as the country
aims to become a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. This furthers the
announcements in AI investments and institutions made in 2018 which expands the
scope of research and collaboration. However, the industry is looking to
understand how these institutions are creating a favourable environment to
foster entrepreneurship or AI research, and how the investment is creating
on-ground impact, helping enterprises and deep-tech start-ups to create market
value. The national AI portal is a good move to facilitate the vision of
Minimum Government, Maximum Governance as part of Vision 2030, being a catalyst
for emerging technologies, and a platform to unite the efforts of a massive
institution like the central government.
The emphasis on increasing tax-paying base, and reducing tax burden on middle class, in addition to GST show the government’s overall commitment to plug leakages and improve tax collection processes. The reform of the tax environment shows rapid strides towards efficiency and transparency. Given the interim nature of this budget, expectations around corporate tax, Place of Effective Management and skilling involvement in the IT sector have been missed. We are hoping the full-fledged Budget in July will address key expectations and boost the output of the industry.”
Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director, Qlik India
“The interim budget 2019, the government has rightly comprehended the necessity and competence of digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures and thus allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to gain better data-driven and decision-making insights and advance the nation in competitive global space.”
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