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Top 7 Budget 2022 Announcements for Transforming Digital India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2022 in parliament today. For the technology, there were many important announcements were made and the most important being cryptocurrencies and other digital assets will be taxable. Apart from this, the other key announcements for the technology sector in Budget 2022 were the 5G auction in India, e-Passport, digital rupee, and much more. Let’s take a look at all that.

Budget 2022: Updates for Technology Sector

Here are all the important updates from Union Budget 2022 for the technology sector.

5G Auction in 2022-23

Finance Minister announced that 5G spectrum auctions will be held in 2022 so that 5G network services can be rolled out in India by 2023. All public and private sector network operators in India will be able to participate in this auction.

Optical Fiber Connectivity in Villages

She also announced that optical fiber networks will be available all across India including villages for seamless internet connectivity even in remote areas. This project is supposed to be completed by 2025.

The contracts for the same will be allotted under the BharatNet Scheme. It was launched by the government under the Digital India initiative to offer high-speed fiber internet in rural areas at affordable prices.

e-Passports with Embedded Chip

The government will also introduce e-Passport services soon. These passports will have an embedded chip with security-related data. It will store digitally signed personal data of an applicant including name, address, and biometric data.

The new e-Passports will use Radio-Frequency Identification and biometrics both for added security and will prevent unauthorized access.

These passports will be in line with international standards and will help Indian citizens in a smooth passage through immigration.

Digital Rupee Based on Blockchain

Finance Minister announced that a new digital rupee will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India in the 2022-23 financial year. This was first hinted at by PM Modi back in August last year, who announced e-RUPI as a prepaid e-voucher. Now this move comes after the government’s plans for a bill on cryptocurrencies in India.

This new digital rupee will be based on blockchain technology the same technology that also powers cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It is a public distributed ledger that records transactions and is updated in real-time. In this ledger, the transaction records cannot be altered and that’s why it is transparent and authentic.

This digital rupee will basically be a CBDC (central bank digital currency) which can be defined as a digital token of a country’s official currency, issued and regulated by the nation’s central bank (RBI in the case of India). CBDC is different from decentralized currencies like crypto which is not issued by an authority.

About the digital rupee, Finance Minister said in her speech, “Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is therefore proposed to introduce digital rupee using blockchain and other technology to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India starting, 2022 and 2023.”

Tax on Virtual Digital Assets (Crypto)

The government has announced that any income from the transfer of digital assets like cryptocurrency will be taxable from now on and the rate will be 30%. This tax slab will also impact income from NFTs as well. The government will also impose 1% TDS (tax deducted at source) on the payment for the transfer of crypto.

Moreover, the gifting of crypto or other virtual digital assets is also proposed to be taxed in the hands of the recipient. This announcement is a major blow for many budding crypto investors in India as until now there was no clarity on the same.

EV Battery Swapping Policy

The government is also planning to roll out an EV battery swapping policy that will solve the problem of the lack of EV charging stations in India. Under this policy, the government will facilitate startups to help EV owners in swapping their vehicles’ batteries. This will allow EV owners to change their batteries with the charged ones at an EV charging station.

Also, check | 5 Quick Ways to Locate Nearest EV Charging Stations in India

Drone Shakti Project

The government, after liberalizing the Drone Rules in 2021, has now announced a new project dubbed Drone Shakti in Budget 2022. Also, farmers will be provided with Kisaan Drones so that they can assess their lands and spray insecticides.

So this was all about technology sector announcements in Budget 2022. Apart from this, another important news for tech enthusiasts is that mobile phones and other electronic items are to become cheaper with the new budget. For more latest tech news, stay tuned!

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