Govt Increases Funds for Digital India – Union Budget 2020
The government has increased the funds to Rs. 3,958 Cr for the financial year (FY) 2020-21
This is a 23% increase in the total funds allocated to this program
The govt has also reduced the budget for the promotion of digital payments
In a bid to build up the pace of the Digital India initiative, the govt has now increased the outlay for the program to Rs. 3,958 Cr for the financial year 2020-21. This is often a 23% increase in the total funds allocated to this program as compared to FY20.
According to Economics Times, the rise in the funds will help the govt departments to scale electronics manufacturing, research and development, increasing manpower within the IT segment, cybersecurity, and promotion of IT and other IT-enabled services.
While previously the govt had allocated Rs. 3,750.76 Cr in the last budget towards Digital India, it revised the budget to Rs. 3,212.52 Cr on Saturday. However, now it’s been increased to 3,958 Cr.
In the budget document, the govt highlighted that it’s been taking several initiatives on a continual basis for the promotion of electronics manufacturing within the country. These initiatives will help India to form an enabling environment for the electronics manufacturing industry to compete globally. “Electronics manufacturing is one among the key pillars of the Digital India program and therefore the target to get net zero imports is a striking demonstration of intent,” the govt added.
Moreover, with Budget 2020, the govt has also increased the budget allocation for the development of Electronics and IT hardware manufacturing hubs from Rs. 690 Cr in FY20 to Rs. 980 Cr for FY21. Government schemes like electronics development fund and electronics manufacturing clusters are expected to induce a boost from this increase of the funds.
Additionally, the research and development (R&D) department of the IT ministry has achieved a major boost in this Budget 2020. Notably, the R&D department has achieved a 75% increase in the total allocated fund, which currently stands at Rs. 435 Cr. The department carries out activities like developing parts of electronic devices including semiconductors, integrated circuit layout design registry, medical electronics, and health informatics. The department also supports the innovation and promotion of startups.
For the cybersecurity of the country, the govt has increased the fund allocation from 102 Cr to 170 Cr. Fund spend for the promotion of IT and ITeS segment has also been increased to Rs. 170 Cr from RS. 90 Cr. Further, the program for the promotion of the National Knowledge Network has also got a boost of Rs. 400 Cr from Rs. 274 Cr.
On the other hand, the govt has also decreased the budget for the promotion of digital payments from Rs. 480 Cr to Rs. 220 Cr for FY21. For Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan, the fund allocation has remained unchanged with total spending projected to remain at INC 400 Cr for FY21 as well.
Under this program, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Saturday (February 1), announced that the govt will develop 5 new smart cities. The finance minister also mentioned that the government has already installed 550 Wifi facilities in railway stations within 100 days of coming into the 2nd term under the Digital India mission.
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