Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who presented the Union Budget 2017-2018 on Wednesday, emphasised a shift to digital economy has huge benefits for the common man. He said promotion of digital economy is an integral part of Government’s strategy to clean the system and launch of BHIM app is an evidence of increased digital transactions.
In a push for adoption of BHIM app, Government will launch two new schemes – Referral Bonus for individuals and cashback for merchants. Plus, Aadhaar Pay will be launched soon. Jaitely said a mission with a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhaar Pay, IMPS and debit cards will be set up by Government. Banks are being pushed to introduce 10 lakh new PoS terminals by March and 20 lakh Aadhaar-based PoS by September.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO said, It is a digital economy budget. Government has pushed the digital theme in every area of the budget. Every person from a small shops to consumers are pushed towards the digital economy. Tax benefits, incentives to use digital payments and extending loans based on a digital footprint will create a larger merchant ecosystem for digital payments.
Incentives for labour intensive sectors including housing, farming and dairy will help SMEs to create new jobs. Focus and attention to bank NPAs, as well as increasing bank capitalisation is great step towards strengthening the financial system of the country. Finally, the income tax rate changes will encourage more people to report their incomes and create a larger tax net for the country. Overall, it is a great budget that will encourage people to move to the formal economy and derive benefits.
Bipin Preet Singh, Founder & CEO said, Big digital push is the thrust of the Budget and is a very welcome and the right move for the future growth of the economy. I commend this progressive budget that invests heavily in technology and digitization. The focus on digital payments will lead to revolutionary transformation in Indians’ payment habits. Digital payments will be the new normal in 2017 and we are very excited about this. As we become more digital, India will see new taxpayers and better transparency in incomes.
Upgrading digital infrastructure to support cashless transactions in rural and semi urban areas will encourage more merchants and consumers to transact on non-cash and online platforms. However, we feel that the government must have also considered promoting startups in the digital payments and digital security areas. Secure digital transactions is the only way to sustain India’s habit of cashless payments.
The budget also promoted the startup ecosystem with tax benefits. Reduction in the corporate tax for Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to 25% will also go a long way in attracting more investment in the country. It will surely give the domestic sector a massive push and indirectly help the country in restoring its healthy GDP growth forecast.
Overall the Budget proposals look to boost consumption. The impetus on affordable housing and rural infrastructure will boost lower and middle income and translate into consumption.
Neel Ratan, Leader- Government and Public Sector, PwC India said, “The launch of AADHAAR Pay for people without mobile phones will spearhead the country’s transition to digital economy and perhaps make India a global exemplar in the digital arena. Renewed focus on proliferating digital to rural and semi-urban areas will further enhance digital inclusion, bridging the digital divide in the society and fostering financial inclusion.” – Indian Express
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