Smart City is THE SOLUTION to deal with massive population growth, rural to urban migration, and depleting city resources. I welcome the budget allocation for smart cities, and this should become the catalyst to transform our cities.
“The Budget has largely delivered on the socio-economic agenda of strengthening the agricultural and rural economy, health care, infrastructure and education in the country. On the tax front, while reduction in the corporate tax rate for companies with turnover less than Rs. 250 crores is a step in the right direction,
"This is a forward looking, growth-oriented budget with a focus on the rural economy, healthcare for the poor, investments in infrastructure, Digital skilling, education and jobs creation. Several programs announced in the budget represent big strides in building a Digital India: the outlay for the smart cities program; the plans to explore blockchain technology;
The speech of our Finance Minister Jaitley on Budget 2018 mentioned only couple of major developments around telecom sector i.e. provisioning of 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots, connecting 1.5 lakh more villages under BharatNet initiative and trains to have Wi-Fi and CCTVs. Perhaps in order to achieve all these objectives, the development of a robust telecom infrastructure is uttermost significant.
“The proposed Budget for 2018-19 highlights the government’s focus to spread internet connectivity and strengthening rural broadband infrastructure. The Finance Minister announced during the budget speech that one lakh Gram Panchayats have already been connected thanks to expansion of the network but this also highlights the fact that more than 2 lakh villages are still awaiting access to high-speed broadband. Internet connectivity is undeniably a great enabler and also a medium through which maximum governance with minimum government can be implemented. Satellite broadband technology can greatly help connect the under-served and un-served regions. We request the government to use high throughput satellite connectivity we're proposing to bring."
"We welcome the focus of the Union Budget on disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics. With the renewed focus on Digital India, we hope that the Government of India also consider additional reforms to the telecom sector. Reforms that will create a predictable, flexible, lightly regulated and reliant on technology policy framework that incentivizes the businesses to invest, reinvest and to compete in India’s telecom market on a level playing field basis. Reforms that will also provide consumers with greater choices to modernize and simplify regulations for all stakeholders. We are also encouraged that the government is considering series of initiatives to empower the Indian citizens with broadband access thereby bridging the digital divide. Broadband access will spur demand for digital services and usher in a new era of digital revolution, establishing India as one of the most robust ecosystems for investment and innovation in the world."
“The Union Budget-2018 is a positive step towards India’s growing smartphone market. The increased custom duty on mobiles will further boost local manufacturing and will be the essential push to create a manufacturing eco-system in India. Smartphones play a crucial role in today’s times and this budget is an extension to the ‘Digital India’ initiative. With focus on development, it is a progressive budget and is a stepping stone to India’s growth story.”
The Union Budget 2018-19 announced the mission on cyberspace which will be launched in support of the establishment of centres of excellence and stated that the allocation to the Digital India program has been doubled to ₹3073 crore in 2018-19. This is huge step by the government with financial backing to make India a cyber-secure nation. Today, nearly all aspects of our lives are only, with everything from financial transactions to confidential personal data being accessible from every device. Such substantial focus on the sector by the Indian government further encourages us at F-Secure to support the country with our best-in-class solutions, helping our customers minimize their risk and guard against the cybercriminals.
“We welcome the government’s thrust on encouraging R&D pursuits in the areas of AI, machine learning, robotics and edge analytics. This move will further leapfrog the innovations in this space that is significantly driven by Indian companies and will place the country at the centre of global digital transformation focus.”
"The Finance Minister has doubled the budget for the Digital India Scheme, emerging as a major move towards assisting the nation to progress further. The second development of investment of Rs 10,000 crore for rural Wi-Fi hotspots, giving 5 crore citizens access to broadband speed internet by the deployment of 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots should help bring more consumers online, increasing digital consumption of services like OTT, entertainment, banking, and e-commerce. We at nexGTv feel that all these steps are a definite plus for the significant growth of the digital businesses in the country."
“The Union Budget 2018-19 is a balanced budget that I believe will help drive & sustain long-term growth for India. The increased focus on higher infrastructure spends, smart cities, digital India, and healthcare is a step in the right direction. With 99 smart cities being selected and an amount of over Rs. 2 lakh crore being allocated, it will give the nation a significant opportunity to upscale its Infrastructure as a growth driver. In addition, doubling the Digital India budget allocation this year is a step ahead towards becoming a digital-first economy which will assist in reshaping and empowering the country by leveraging technology.
Some of the key initiatives by the Government like infusion of digital technologies to improve the quality of education will have a long standing impact on the overall growth of ICT in rural areas.
“The confidence showcased by Government in Blockchain technology augurs well for digital economy. Blockchain technology will lead the fintech revolution in 2018. It is a trusted technology that will be more relevant in scenarios such as the disbursement of funds or benefits where personal discretion should be restricted. It is highly secured as all transactions on a blockchain are cryptographically secured and provide integrity. Additionally, the use of Blockchain will encourage paperless & more transparent transactions . We believe increased collaboration between banks and fintech startups coupled with the Blockchain technology will give rise to new financial trends in India.”
We welcome the Budget 2018 by the Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Union Budget 2018 is a growth oriented budget with enormous push for health, agriculture, education and infrastructure, which we believe will usher in healthy economic growth in the years to come. Speaking specifically of mobile phone industry, we are glad that our demand of increasing customs duty on mobile phone CBU [completely built units] imports to 20 percent from the existing 15 percent has been met. This will prevent dumping of phones in the Indian market, boost domestic manufacturing and provide a level playing field to home grown brands. The announcement is in line with the objectives of the Make in India initiative.
“The government’s budget for 2018-19 has a special emphasis on increasing digital intensity in education. Wireless communication technology has a big role to play in enhancing interactivity in at all levels and in creating smart campuses. Additionally, providing WiFi in trains, increasing broadband access through WiFi hotspots to 5 crore rural citizens and connecting 1.5 lakh more villages under BharatNet initiative is a step forward towards digitizing India.”
“We applaud the forward looking Union Budget 2018 where the Hon’ble Government is extensively focusing on digitalization with further support to initiatives like Digital India, Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat among others. The Union Budget laid down plans to connect additional 1.5lakh gram panchayats with fibre optic networks under the BharatNet. This will create access and affordability and will help in bridging the digital divide even further."
“HMD Global continues its strong emphasis on PM Modi’s Make in India campaign. While the import duties for mobile phones increased to 20 percent, along with a 15 percent duty on key components, this will have a minimum impact on our business, as all of our current portfolio of Nokia phones are manufactured in India.”
“The Government has taken a very balanced approach in Union Budget 2018 with a special focus on strengthening the rural economy, infrastructure development and helping small and medium businesses. Government’s vision to move from black board to digital board schools by 2022, revitalization and upgrading of education sector through increased fund allocation and focus on education related research will create a brighter future for the young. We are enthused by the government’s focus on skills development and empowering students with the right educational tools. We are also thrilled with the Government’s emphasis on promoting research and use cases for digital manufacturing and 3D printing. We believe this technology will enable speedy growth of the manufacturing industry and help India in becoming a major manufacturing hub.”
The last full budget of the present government has lived upto its expectations in terms of being a taxpayer friendly budget, especially focussed towards the less privileged ones. There have been some major announcements on agriculture, health, development and advancement of social sector. The thrust of the budget has moved from “ease of doing business” in the past to “ease of living” which is clearly reflected in most of the reforms announced.
The budget focuses on promoting digital economy and improving broadband connectivity, especially in rural India, which will aid in increasing the broadband penetration in the country as well as increase data usage, which has been the key focus for telcos. Higher outlays will also benefit domestic telecom equipment players, primarily fibre optic manufacturers and contractors.
“The Government's initiative to accelerate research in artificial intelligence (AI) reinforces our belief that AI would revolutionize the way financial institutions and customers interact with each other. This would add a new dimension to the digital transformation of our economy and expedite our march towards Digital India.”