NEW DELHI: India having emerged as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data, the government now aims to widen its impact by reaching out to the interior and rural areas. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Piyush Goyal said the government will make one lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years. This, he said, will be achieved by expanding the Common Service Centres (CSCs).
“The Common Service Centres are expanding their services and also creating digital infrastructure in the villages, including connectivity, to convert the villages into Digital Villages,” said Goyal.
“More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens,” he added.
The Finance Minister said mobile tariff in India is now possibly the lowest in the world, catapulting India as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data.
“Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years. The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world.”
Goyal said the ‘Make in India’ programme has seen India emerging as the new destination for mobile phone manufacturing industry. “Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities,” he added.
JAM-DBT, the next big game changer since Bank Nationalisation
The Finance Minister termed the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer as game changers.
“Bank nationalisation was first done 50 years ago, but a large part of the country was still left out of the economic mainstream with no access to formal banking. In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened,” said Goyal.
The Finance Minister said Aadhaar has ensured better targeted subsidies.
“Aadhaar is now near universally implemented. This has helped ensure the poor and
middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen,” he said.
Single window clearance for film shoot extended to Indian filmmakers
Recognising India’s Entertainment Industry as a major job sector, the Finance Minister declared extension of single window clearance for film shoot to Indian filmmakers. “Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, available only to foreigners, is now going to be made available to Indian filmmakers as well,” said Goyal.
The Finance Minister also announced other measures to ease filmmaking and check piracy. “Regulatory provisions will rely more on self-declaration. We will also introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy,” he said.