FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the Budget 2023-24. In it, she had various proposals that will impact the tech sector, including smartphones turning cheaper, 5G Labs to be introduced and much more.
The Union Budget for the 2023-24 fiscal was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today in Parliament. Continuing the paperless tradition, she read out the details of the budget from her tablet for the third year in a row. While the major highlight from the budget was the hike in capital expenditure and restructuring of the personal income tax slabs and an increased rebate limit to Rs. 7 lakh (meaning people earning up to Rs. 7 lakh annually will not have to pay taxes in the new tax regime), a heavy focus was also placed on new tech initiatives such as Centre of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI, 5G labs and possibly cheaper smartphones. Know the major highlights from the tech side of the budget 2023 in 10 quick points.
Budget 2023: Tech impactCheaper smartphones: Probably the biggest relief comes to smartphone makers as the finance minister announced lowering of custom duties for certain parts of smartphones. Camera lenses will get a 2.5 percent concession on custom duty and lithium-ion batteries will continue to get the concessional duties for another year. This can effectively make smartphones cheaper this year, especially the ones being manufactured locally.Laptop prices can also drop: Due to the same lithium-ion batteries being used in manufacturing laptops as well, some laptops can see a drop in price.Smart TVs are also set to be cheaper: Smart televisions are also likely to get cheaper as the finance minister announced in her speech that customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels will also be brought down to 2.5 percent.National Digital Library for Youth: Government will be setting up a digital library to make up for the learning loss suffered by students during the pandemic. The books and reading materials will be available on an age appropriate basis.5G lab creations to develop new-age applications: 100 5G labs will be set up in various engineering institutions with a view to help reach the potential from the newly rolled out technology. The labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications.Centers for Excellence of Artificial Intelligence: With the rise of AI, the government has decided to set up 3 Centers for Excellence of Artificial Intelligence in top institutions of the nation. The centers will facilitate interdisciplinary research as well as creating an effective AI ecosystem.Digital Epigraphy Museum: It will be set up to encourage the study and interpretation of ancient texts and inscriptions. This will mainly be focused towards the youth.Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture: The government will create public portals dedicated towards building farmer-centric solutions, support for market information, gain access to farm inputs, knowledge sharing as well as supporting agriculture industry and startups.DigiLocker: DigiLocker will provide support with Aadhaar as a foundational identity for the nation. It will offer a one-stop shop for reconciliation and updating addresses and identity of individuals. The same record will be maintained by various government agencies for a seamless experience with government and related entities.National Data Governance Policy: A new policy will be formulated for both startups and academia to access anonymized data and ensure healthy practices.
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