It’s been impossible to dodge budget-chatter on social! In all, GOI laid out a progressive agenda — fiscally conservative as expected, working to seed organic growth vs. one-time handouts, and prioritizing tech adoption.
Quick look at some key highlights that stood out to us: 🧐
- On infra spending: Capital expenditures expanded by 35%+, to ₹7.5 lakh crores — this is basically money spent on bridges, and roads, and rail, and other mega infrastructure projects which catalyzes economic activity downstream. States will also receive up to ₹1 lakh crores for their capex needs.
- On banking: Major banks will be asked to set up and tune dedicated digital operations in 75+ districts — seeding wider adoption at the rural level. Meanwhile, India’s Postal service is diving into financial services — all 1.5 lakh post-offices will be linked with banks to enable online fund transfer and other services at the PO center.
- For mass upskilling: GOI will be kicking off a new portal for comprehensive digital upskilling — called DESH stack.
- For telecom: 5G spectrum actions will be done in 2022. Critical for India to make sure it sustains all the digital bandwidth explosion.
- On boosting production: host of concessions were outlined on imports — including on certain electronic parts & items to make sure companies kicking off India manufacturing under major PLI schemes don’t feel the pinch
- On taxation: most sweeping change brought was to tax all crypto and other digital-asset earnings at a 30% flat rate. Bit expensive? Sure. For now, grateful we didn’t hear the word ‘ban’ anywhere!
- There’s more blockchain: RBI will be launching a blockchain-backed Digital Rupee next year. Hard to imagine what role Blockchain plays here, but we’d give regulators a chance considering the exemplary success of infra projects like UPI.
- On startups: Tax benefits extended to growth ventures. Earlier announced redemption of taxes for 3 consecutive years will now be extended for another year.
- On clean transportation: 400 new energy efficient trains to be launched over the next 3 years.
There’s a host of other moves announced — from PLI schemes to accelerate production of solar modules, to the launch of e-passports, and a national tele-health service focusing on mental health to deal with post-COVID blowback. Here’s a pretty neat summary from the kind folks at ET!
Bottomline — its moot to debate the effectiveness of the moves. We’d defer to the markets to judge — and the Sensex finishing up 1.5% for the day seems like a decent verdict of approval.