Arun Jaitley speech during Budget 2016 presentation: Top 10 technology moves by FM

By: | Published: February 29, 2016 8:51 PM

Union Budget 2016 has a very limited focus on PM Narendra Modi's pet projects like Digital India and Make in India, but here are few key announcements we could dig out from FM Arun Jaitley's speech related to e-governance and ICT sector.

budget 2016, union budget 2016, 2016 budget news, budget news, union budget news, budget 2016 news, budget income tax, union budget 2016, income tax, arun jaitley, budget news india, Smriti Irani, arun jaitley in parliament, budget india newsBudget 2016: Highlighting various technology initiative in tax department, he informed, capability of the tax department to detect tax evasion has improved because of enhanced access to information and availability of technology driven analytical tools to process tax information. (Reuters)

Union Budget 2016 has a very limited focus on PM Narendra Modi’s pet projects like Digital India and Make in India, but here are few key announcements we could dig out from FM Arun Jaitley’s speech related to e-governance and ICT sector. So here is all you want to know about Arun Jaitley’s top 10 technology moves in Budget 2016:

Technology for minimum govt and maximum governance 
A critical component of minimum government and maximum governance is to ensure targeted disbursement of government subsidies and financial assistance to the actual beneficiaries. The Finance Minister said, govt will introduce a bill for Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services by using the Aadhar framework.

Statutory backing to the AADHAR platform 
According to FM, the bill will be introduced in the current Budget Session of the Parliament. “The Aadhar number or authentication shall not, however, confer any right of citizenship or domicile” he stated. A social security platform will be developed using Aadhar to accurately target beneficiaries. This will be a transformative piece of legislation which will benefit the poor and the vulnerable, he said. Additionally, government will undertake other reforms, such as the enactment of a law to ensure that all government benefits are conferred upon persons who deserve it, by giving a statutory backing to the AADHAR platform.

Technology for farmers 
To ensure the benefit of minimum support price (MSP) reaches farmers in all parts of the country, an online procurement system will be undertaken through the Food Corporation of India to usher in transparency and convenience to the farmers through prior registration and monitoring of actual procurement, said the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech.

He added that farmers take up allied activities to supplement their family income such as dairying. Therefore to make dairying more remunerative, an advanced breeding technology and creation of ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’, an e-market portal for connecting breeders and farmers will be established very soon.

Technology for procurement 
Giving boost to already popular e-procurement projects, the Jaitley stated, to bring more transparency and efficiency in government procurement of goods and services, the Director General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) will establish a technology driven platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various ministries and agencies of the government.

Support for Information Technology Sector 
On simplifying the procedures in customs and excise duty, the minister said, government will make suitable changes in  customs and excise duty rates and  simplify procedures to reduce costs and improve competitiveness of domestic industry in sectors like Information technology hardware, capital goods, defence production, textiles, mineral fuels & mineral oils, chemicals & petrochemicals, paper, paperboard & newsprint, maintenance repair and overhauling of aircrafts and ship repair etc.

Technology for making taxation simple 
Highlighting various technology initiative in tax department, he informed, capability of the tax department to detect tax evasion has improved because of enhanced access to information and availability of technology driven analytical tools to process tax information. “Government plans to use technology in taxation department in a big way to make life simpler for a law abiding citizen, and also for data mining to track tax evaders,” he stated. He also informed, a pilot was run in 2015-16 for e-assessment to obviate the requirement for tax payers to visit the Income-tax offices. Government will expand the scope of e-assessments to all assessees in 7 mega cities in the coming years. The cases selected for scrutiny will be scrutinised in e-environment whereby unless the assessee himself wants to be heard, or for special reasons to be recorded, the assessing officer wants to hear the party, there will be no face to face contact of IT Department with assessee.

Technology for e-Sahyog 
To reduce compliance cost, he said, Income-tax Department (ITD) will fully expand the pilot initiative of ‘e-Sahyog’ with a view to reduce compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers. The objective of the ‘e-Sahyog’ pilot project is to provide an online mechanism to resolve mismatches in Income-tax returns without requiring taxpayers to attend the Income-tax office.

He also informed, now procedure has been changed from physical control to record based control for customs bonded warehouses, supported by sophisticated IT systems.

Technology for Indian stock exchanges 
To enhance global competitiveness of Indian stock exchanges and accelerate adoption of best-in-class technology and global market practices, the FM said, the investment limit for foreign entities in Indian stock exchanges will be enhanced from 5 to 15% on par with domestic institutions.

Technology to reap population dividend
To derive greater benefit from  India’s young demography, the government aims to spread digital literacy in rural India. Currently, of the 16.8 crore rural households as many as 12 crore households do not have computers and are unlikely to have digitally literate persons. In order  to promote digital literacy, Finance Minister stated, the government has approved two schemes: National Digital Literacy Mission; and Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (DISHA). And  now it plans to launch a new Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India to cover around 6 crore additional households within the next 3 years.

Technology for modernising of land records 
Modernisation of land records is critical for dispute free titles. The National Land Record Modernisation Programme has been revamped under the Digital India Initiative and will be implemented as a central sector scheme with effect from 1st April, 2016. The minister said, the revamped programme will build an integrated land information management system. In this budget, Rs 150 crore has been provided for this purpose.

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