How This Budget With A Digital Pulse Can Turnaround India

The Budget is more than a formalized statement of income and expenses. For, it has emotive repercussions on millions. Rightly so. The Budget carries the immense load of expectations of every stakeholder- from the corporate hi flier to the vendor hawking on the wayside. The Budget has in it to raise spirits or roil the markets. Its intent can make or mar your sentiment.

I have long followed the Budgets, first as a tentative entrepreneur of the late 9os and in the later years, as a tech evangelist. What struck me in this Budget for 2022–23 is its articulation of a vision for the country for the next 25 years. As the Budget talks, we have stepped into the Amrit Kaal- India @75 and are now envisioning the India @100. The Budget banks on digital levers to rev up the engines of growth. From agriculture to education, the Budget’s firm grip on the digital pulse is not hard to miss. It’s commendable that our government is making all-out efforts to unlock the potential of AgriTech. This year’s Budget is a testimony to that commitment.

The deployment of Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitizing land records, and spraying insecticides and nutrients will go a long way in empowering genuine farmers and preparing our farms for Agriculture 4.0.

There is even a mention of a government scheme framed on the PPP mode to make available hi-tech and digital services available to farmers with the synergy of public institutions and private players. This augurs well for the future of the Agri value chain.

We know well how this raging pandemic has disrupted traditional learning models and made digital more than a bare bone necessity. The Digital University mooted in the Budget promises to universalize and democratize education for all. The Budget cements its digital vision with the announcement of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The creation of digital registries of health care providers and their facilities will upgrade healthcare quality and help us inch closer to the Mission of ‘Quality & Affordable Healthcare for All’. This Mission will help raise the coverage and efficacy of government anchored health insurance programmes like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) or Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) implemented in Odisha.

What’s more, the vision to strengthen the digital ecosystem has the backing of the extension of the tax holiday to March 2o23. We have switched on to a digital-first world. The Budget, this year, sees digital as a big enabler. I, too, see in Digital the blend of possibilities and promises. For a $5 trillion economy. In fact, a long wish list. The digital iceberg is a lot bigger than what meets your eye.

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