Union Budget 2019 for Digital India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a new vision for a new India with the maiden Union Budget of the Modi Government 2.0

Photo Credit : Shutterstock, Himanshu Kumar,

The Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the maiden Union Budget of the Modi Government 2.0 on July 5th with a new vision for a new India.

As per tradition, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, after arriving at the North Block which houses the Ministry of Finance, handed over a copy of the Union Budget to the President. Contrary to the tradition of carrying budget documents by Finance Ministers in a briefcase, Nirmala Sitharaman discarded the custom and dumped the briefcase for a red bahi khata (ledger) cover.

Upon arrival at the Parliament, the Finance Minister began saying that the roadmap for future includes simplification of procedures, red-tape reduction, and making the best use of technology.

Mega Investment in Advanced Technology Areas

Finance Minister proposed scheme to invite global companies to set up mega-manufacturing plants in areas such as Semi-conductor Fabrication (FAB), Solar Photo Voltaic cells, Lithium storage batteries, Computer Servers and Laptops.

Digital Payments

TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs. 1 crore in a year from a bank account

Business establishments with annual turnover more than Rs. 50 crore shall offer low cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.

Banking and Financial Sector

PSBs to leverage technology, offering online personal loans and doorstep banking, and enabling customers of one PSBs to access services across all PSBs.

Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Rural Industry

80 Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and 20 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to be setup in 2019-20.

Government to work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM.

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan

Over two crore rural Indians made digitally literate.

Internet connectivity in local bodies in every Panchayat under Bharat-Net to bridge rural-urban divide.

Universal Obligation Fund under a PPP arrangement to be utilized for speeding up Bharat-Net.

Startups get major boost

In a major boost to startups, the government will set-up a new TV programme on national broadcaster Doordarshan, exclusively for startups in the country.

Several changes across labour laws, education and rental housing to have a direct impact on startups in the country.

100% FDI in insurance intermediaries. It is a classification that most digital insurance start-ups fall in.

The 'Stand up India' scheme, launched in 2016, to support entrepreneurship among women and marginalized segment of the society, will be further extended during the entire period of 2020–25.

Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicles get a boost as India eyes to become a global hub of manufacturing electric vehicles.

GST rate on electric vehicles already proposed to be lowered to 5%.

Additional income tax deduction of 1.5 lakh on interest on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.

Customs duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles.

Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar

With more than 120 crore Indians having Aadhaar, FM proposed to make interchangeable PAN and Aadhaar. Those who do not have PAN can instead quote Aadhaar number for verification and filing tax returns. Aadhaar can be used wherever PAN is required.

Aadhaar cards to be issued to NRIs with India passports, after their arrival in India - without waiting for mandatory 180-days period

Faceless e-assessment

Faceless e-assessment with no human interface to be launched.

To be carried out initially in cases requiring verification of certain specified transactions or discrepancies.

Digital payments

FM said that the government has taken a number of initiatives to promote digital payments.

To discourage the practice of making business payments in cash the government proposes to levy TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year from a bank account.

BHIM, UPI, Aadhaar Pay, NEFT, RTGS can be used to promote less cash economy. Business establishments with annual turnover of Rs 50 crore will have to use these modes of payments with no charges or merchant discount rates will be imposed on customers or merchants. RBI and banks will absorb these costs, she says.

Finance Minister concluded her maiden Union Budget presentation which was the first Budget of the second Narendra Modi-led government. The speech lasted for over two hours.


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