Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second full-year annual Budget in Parliament today. The new budget has been broadly divided into three major themes - aspirational India, economic development and building a caring society that is humane. In its Economic Survey 2020 released on Friday, the Union government predicted that the economic growth would pick up to 6.0% to 6.5% in the fiscal year beginning April 1, but warned that it may have to exceed its deficit target to revive growth.
Sitharaman spoke about how the manufacturing of electronics has been a strong aspect of job creation. “Domestic production of electronic goods needs to be boosted and we should encourage the manufacturing of mobile phones and semiconductors in the country.”
The government has been pretty vocal about smartphone manufacturers producing handsets in the country for a while now. Major smartphone players including Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and others have been adhering to the ‘Make in India’ scheme. The sector that actually needs attention is the semiconductor industry as it is mostly dominated by US and Chinese companies.
The finance minister went on to mention that more than 550 railway stations across the country are now equipped with Wi-Fi and more will be added this year. If you remember RailTel had roped in Google as the technology partner for setting up fast Wi-Fi networks for providing fast Wi-Fi to millions of passengers every day. Wi-Fi services to passengers are being provided under ‘Railwire’, the retail Broadband distribution model of RailTel.
As an extension, Sitharaman spoke about how there is a need to digitise public services including police stations, post offices that will help in swift operation for the public.
There was also a proposal to replace all electricity meters with smart prepaid meters where consumers have a choice to analyse and choose a plan that suits their needs. It is notable that most of the new apartments in Noida have already implemented these meters.