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Budget 2018: Allocation for Digital India doubled,Govt to explore AI and Blockchain

01-February-2018
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Budget 2018: Allocation for Digital India doubled,Govt to explore AI and Blockchain

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the allocation for the Digital India scheme will be doubled to Rs 3073 crore. The Budget which held a number of benefits for farmers, healthcare benefits for the poor, also prioritised Digital India.

The finance minister further said that the government will explore the use of blockchain technology in his Union Budget address. In addition, the finance minister announced that companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 cr in financial year 2016-17 will be eligible for a relief in taxation. Corporate tax for these companies has been cut down to 25%.

Jaitley’s budget indicated that India aims to be at par with global standards in terms of digitisation and technology by improving the reach of broadband access, and pushing for 5G technology.

Here are some of the highlights for digital India:

  • 5 lakh WiFi HotSpots will be set up to provide Broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens, at the cost of Rs 10,000 cr. 
  • All trains to be progressively provided with WiFi, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities
  • Government will take measures to stop cryptocurrency circulation, as it is not considered legal tender
  • Niti Aayog will establish a national programme to direct efforts in artificial intelligence
  • The telecom department (DoT) along with IIT Madras will support a 5G technologies test bed
  • Government aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by March 2019 under Bharat Net project
  • Proposal to increase the custom duty on mobiles from 15% to 20%. It also proposes an increase on custom duty to 15% on some mobile and television parts.

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