The finance minister of India Mr. Arun Jaitley presented the budget on 29th Feb, 2016. In a motive to support Digital India initiative, the government is taking e-governance initiatives which will provide better technology reach to the rural parts of India.
Key points to the budget include:
- Online platform to ensure transparency for farmers
- AADHAR platform for the delivery of the subsidies
- US$146.7 million for creating a nation-wide e-repository
- National Land Record Modernization Program
- Data analytics to tackle mismatch in income tax returns
Technology for all will be one of the major objectives for the Indian government next year. Highlighting various initiatives for the population of rural India, the finance minister mentioned that technology initiatives have been framed targeting the farmers and their improvement. In order to ensure that the minimum support price declared by the Food Corporation of India is reaching the rightful farmers in different parts of the country, an online platform will be developed which will ensure transparency of the entire process and monitoring of the procurement process.
The government also plans at initiating a bill which would target the delivery of subsidies being provided by the Indian government using the AADHAR (Unique Identification Authority of India initiative for identity proof) platform. Although the Indian government proposal is against the decision from the Supreme Court, there are various benefits in adopting the AADHAR platform for the delivery of the subsidies.
E-governance has taken a leap forward with the introduction of e-repository for schools and government records. With this initiative the records such as certificates and marks cards will be stored in an online repository. The government has allocated US$146.7 million for creating a nation-wide e-repository for school and college certificates. This project would be enhanced subsequently over a period of time to include all other levels of certificates and documents.
The government is also initiating a National Land Record Modernization Program which will centrally integrate the various land record information management systems from different individual states into a single system. A budget of US$22 million has been allocated for this purpose.
Apart from delivering services, the government has also taken initiatives in simplifying the tax collection and reducing the tax evasion processes. Under the umbrella of ‘e-sahyog’ the government is providing a system of resolving mismatches in income tax returns and a sophisticated IT system has been proposed to be implemented which will use technology and data analytics to identify tax evaders. The government is floating US$22 million for the procurement of relevant software for analytics and expects to garner an additional US$1.46 billion through the initiatives taken during the budget.
With many such initiatives and programs being taken by the Government of India, rural parts of the country will witness and experience an increasing effect of technology in their day to day activities. E-governance initiatives will help in streamlining the government processes for the betterment of the common people and also curbing tax evasions across the nation.