The Interim Budget 2024, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, highlighted significant tech-related announcements that are poised to impact various sectors. While the focus was not solely on artificial intelligence, the budget unveiled key initiatives to leverage technology for socio-economic development. Let’s delve into the five major tech highlights unveiled in the budget.
Free Electricity through Rooftop Solarization for One Crore Households
In a notable move, Sitharaman announced that one crore households will receive up to 300 units of free electricity monthly through rooftop solarization. This aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment during the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony, emphasizing the government’s focus on promoting sustainable energy solutions.
Allocation of Rs. 1 Lakh Cr. for Long-term Financing and Refinancing Options
allocated a substantial corpus of Rs. 1 lakh Cr. for long-term financing or refinancing options, extending up to 50 years with minimal or zero interest rates
. This initiative aims to catalyze research and innovations within the private sector, emphasizing the convergence of youth and technology to drive economic growth and development.
Boosting Deep Tech Technologies for Defense and Export Capabilities
To strengthen defense and export capabilities, a new scheme will be introduced to bolster deep tech technologies under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat infrastructure. This strategic move underscores the government’s commitment to fostering self-reliance and innovation, positioning India as a global leader in advanced technologies.
Expansion of Electric Vehicle (EV) Ecosystem
The budget outlined plans to expand the electric vehicle ecosystem, focusing on enhancing manufacturing and charging infrastructure. The government aims to increase the adoption of e-buses for public transport, emphasizing its dedication to promoting sustainable mobility and reducing carbon emissions.
Prioritizing Technology for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
Sitharaman emphasized the government’s priority in ensuring timely and sufficient financing for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Recognizing the importance of relevant technology, proper training, and financial support, the Finance Minister underscored these measures as critical for driving sustained economic growth, contributing to energy security, and enhancing accessibility and affordability.
While the budget did not unveil specific measures in the arena of artificial intelligence, it outlined a comprehensive strategy to harness technology for the holistic development of various sectors.
The Interim Budget 2024 emphasizes the pivotal role of technology in driving India’s socio-economic progress. Through initiatives to promote sustainable energy solutions, bolster deep tech capabilities, expand the electric vehicle ecosystem, and prioritize technology for MSMEs, the government has underscored its commitment to leveraging innovation and technology to propel the nation towards a brighter, more sustainable future.
The unveiled tech highlights reflect a forward-looking approach, signaling India’s intent to harness technology as a catalyst for inclusive growth and development in the coming years.