Post-budget 2018 Reaction Mr. Anand Bhushan, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (a leading law firm)

Recognizing the strategic change in technology world, Finance Minister in his budget speech today for the F.Y. 2018-2019, emphasized on promoting growth of cutting edge technologies in digital space – machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, 3D printing and the like.

To harness more research and adoption of these technologies, the Government has increased the budget allocation for foundational infrastructure to support these cutting edge technologies under the Digital India Program and will launch a Mission on Cyber Physical Systems. Government will also take steps to promote the development and use of ‘Fifth Generation’ (5G) technologies.

To settle the dust for once and all regarding the crypto- currencies, particularly the Bitcoin, the Finance Minister today, announced that the Government of India does not recognize the non-fiat crypto currencies as legal tender.

However, Government will encourage the usage of distributed ledger system or the block chain technology which allows organization of any chain of records or transactions without the need of intermediaries and this would also include the possible introduction of fiat crypto-currency by Reserve Bank of India.

It is encouraging to see the Government’s focus on promoting development and use of the cutting edge technologies which will not only impact the economy but facilitate everyday life for its citizens. At the same a faster pace need to be made to introduce or amend the laws to regulate the usage of these technologies. With this we expect the passage of Data Privacy Bill soon.

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