India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley made a plethora of announcements while delivering the Union Budget 2017. We have covered a list of all major announcements here, but in this post, we want to go into a little more detail into the digital payments and technology related aspects.
BHIM App Bonus And Cashback Schemes
The FM also announced two new schemes for BHIM app users. These two schemes will be applicable for individuals and merchants respectively.
Individuals using the BHIM app will be able to make use of a Referral Bonus scheme shortly. You will get a bonus on referring new users to the BHIM app. Specifics of this scheme are not known yet, but we will bring you the details of the offer as soon as it is live.
Apart from that, merchants using the BHIM app will soon be able to enjoy a Cashback offer. Again, specific details are not known yet, but we will update you as soon as the offer is live.
Additionally, Petrol Pumps, Universities, Colleges, Hospitals and other institutions will be encouraged to accept BHIM app payments.
The government also revealed that the BHIM app has been downloaded 3 million times since its launch.
Recommended: BHIM App FAQ, All Possible Queries Answered
No Service Tax On Online Rail Bookings
During the Demonetization period, the Central Government had announced that users will not be charged Service Tax on Railway tickets booked online via IRCTC. At the time, it was a temporary measure. However, it has now been implemented as is permanently.
BharatNet Optical Fibre Rollout
Showing the government’s intent to connect the country via Internet, Mr. Jaitley announced an allocation of Rs. 10,000 crores in the budget. This is towards the BharatNet Project, which aims to roll out Optical Fibre to villages and unconnected regions. As of now, optical fibre rollout has been completed up to 1,50,000 KM in the country under the BharatNet Project. The government hopes to expand it to more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats by the end of 2017-18.
Mobile Phones May Get Expensive
The government also announced a Special Additional Duty of 2% on PCBs – short for Printed Circuit Boards. This duty will increase the input costs for companies, which will most likely be pushed to the customers. Expect your smartphones to get expensive going forward.
Digital Pension System
The government announced a new Digital Pension Distribution System to ensure retired defence personnel can access and utilize their funds easily.