India’s Union Budget focuses heavily on digitisation

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented the 2017-18 Union Budget, which is characterised by a focus on digitisation, infrastructure, and rural India. A number of digital policy-related proposals can be highlighted:

  • An abolition of service tax on digital rail bookings in an effort to push digital payments
  • Connecting remote areas with fibre optic Internet across the country
  • Improving medicine, education, and skills in rural areas through the use of digital technology
  • A new digital pension distribution system, as well as ‘smart cards’ containing health information for senior citizens
  • The establishment of a dedicated Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the financial sector.
  • Digitising payments and promoting cashless transactions through a new app.
  • Online education platforms to help people develop skills and gain employment