On February 1, 2022, the Finance Minister of India, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the annual budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. The budget focussed on a lot of areas, but one area is of great interest for us and for the youth. It is the tech side of the announcements. The budget presentation did not talk elaborately about tech, but there are some announcements that can be interesting and draw the future course of action for people.
5G is the Future
With 5G becoming a household and industry term in India, the announcement of rolling out 5G spectrum auction can prove to be a major step towards the future of telecommunications and connectivity. Active 5G rollouts will make the users more connected and let them experience better internet connectivity. This will also encourage the smartphone manufacturers to be more proactive in including more 5G bands in the upcoming smartphones.
When it comes to gaming and Esports, the industry will benefit greatly from the advancements in the 5G technology in the country. Speaking of the same, Mr Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) said:
It is encouraging to finally see the seriousness from our Government towards this sector, which has been long neglected. This will definitely help in setting up the policies which would encourage and build our capacities and capabilities to export to the rest of the world; leading to more domestic video game development studios and more investments in the AVGC sector. Spectrum auctions for 5G is a welcome move for the gaming industry as well, 5G can disrupt the industry is by enhancing the live-streaming of games and cloud gaming as well. The task force should consist largely of people who have been part of the "Video Game" industry and are playing an active role in shaping up the Indian video game industry.
Recognition for Crypto and NFTs
Cryptocurrencies have been making the headlines for a very long time now, and it is good to see the Government acknowledging the global presence of the same. NFTs are the newest players in blockchain technology and have boomed massively, making multiple people millionaires across the globe.
Considering all of this, the Government has decided to impose a 30% tax on the transfer of virtual digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs. There will be an additional 1% tax deduction at source on payments for crypto purchases. Furthermore, any loss incurred because of crypto will not set off tax liability. RBI is also set to issue Digital Rupee, which will be a centralized digital currency, in 2022-23
E-Passports for All Indians
The Indian passport, at present, comes in a booklet form. The Government has decided to issue e-passports for all the citizens of the country. According to officials, the passport will have more security features and will use radio-frequency identification and biometrics. The said passport will come with an electronic chip with security-related data encoded on it. This change will facilitate a smooth experience at immigration posts globally and will be more secure as it will hinge on biometric data. You can also check our article on E-passport to know more about the same.
These were the tech updates from the Union Budget 2022. It is very hard to anticipate the outcomes of these policies, but we can only wait and see.