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Will The Rural Economy Reviver Programs Have A Place In Budget 2019?

Smart village or Wi-Fi Choupal Program which intrinsically consist of Infra part like Solar and bridges another Infrastructure component like Optical fibre along with Wi-Fi Telecom component, needs attention of the law-makers to bring it within the ambit of RBI Infrastructure Project definition (like NHAI) so that large scale funding requirement are made available to contractors executing projects under infrastructure lending from Banks & NBFC’s.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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The upside of the economy post demonetisation and GST implementation is there has been a growth of 18 per cent in direct tax collections in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18

The initiatives under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy did exceedingly well and India has started reaping the result of Good governance with few of the states going power surplus is a coveted achievement by the present government. However, in few cases there are some anomaly to bring into attention, for example the input GST with Solar Panel is at 5% whereas the storage Battery is at 28% but the combined entity during selling is at 5% GST, to be looked at for corrective measure. 

Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, SmartCities Program are indeed some of the new initiatives of the present government to be considered under good governance. Smart Village or Wi-Fi Choupal program etc are also indeed part of Good Governance and is very effective in strengthening the rural sector creating business opportunities for the Telecom and other related sectors. 

Smart Village or Wi-Fi Choupal eventually will come up as economy reviver program for Govt. creating huge job & employment opportunity in villages. As thrust area, Rural Telecommunication budget may be looked at beyond USO Fund and may be considered now onwards to be part of Central as well as State budget allocation, de-allocation of some fund from Rural Development Ministry, MNRE etc. as the base and reach of Smart Villages has be broadened further and Inter-ministerial engagement (ISPs, CSC, Police, Post Office, Primary Health Centre, Primary School) to be evaluated with new policy initiatives for faster and smother delivery.

Smart village or Wi-Fi Choupal Program which intrinsically consist of Infra part like Solar and bridges another Infrastructure component like Optical fibre along with Wi-Fi Telecom component, needs attention of the law-makers to bring it within the ambit of RBI Infrastructure Project definition (like NHAI) so that large scale funding requirement are made available to contractors executing projects under infrastructure lending from Banks & NBFC’s.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
Union budget 2019-20 telecom

Subhashish Mukherjee

The author is Managing Director, M2M Cybernetics

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