The Union Budget 2018-19 is revolutionary as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced this ambitious but firm-footed goal of establishing India as a knowledge-driven digital society riding cutting edge technologies of machine learning, artificial intelligence and internet of things. We welcome the government’s decision to start a national programme spearheaded by NITI Aayog to direct the Indian government’s efforts in these areas including research and development of its applications.
We congratulate the government for connecting one lakh gram panchayats via high speed optical fiber network under the first phase of Bharatnet project. The proposal to set up five-lakh Wi-Fi hotspots providing broadband access to five-crore rural Indians is the step in the right direction as well. The budgetary allocation of Rs. 10,000 crore in 2018-19 for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in India is another welcome step by the Finance Ministry.
The government’s plan to bring 60 crore basic bank accounts under the coverage of Jan Dhan Yojana and driving micro-insurance and unorganized sector pension schemes through them will provide a stupendous boost to achieving our Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of financial inclusion and digital transformation of the entire nation.