New Delhi: Industry gives thumbs up to government’s push on AI, Robotics.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that NITI Aayog will initiate a national programme to direct efforts in AI and the Department of Science and Technology will launch a Mission on Cyber Physical Systems.

Industry players on Thursday welcomed the government’s move to double the allocation on the Digital India programme to Rs 3,073 crore — a decision that will help research and skilling in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), among others.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that NITI Aayog will initiate a national programme to direct efforts in AI and the Department of Science and Technology will launch a Mission on Cyber Physical Systems.

“The National Programme on Artificial Intelligence to be set up by Niti Aayog, the 5G test-bed in IIT Chennai and the mission to encourage Big Data, cyber security and Robotics are some of the initiatives that will help promote Industry 4.0,” said Dr Subho Ray, President, the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

“This will create new skills and jobs and help usher in the next phase of the IT-BPM sector in India,” he added.

Welcoming the focus on disruptive technologies, Priya Mahajan, Head of ASPAC Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said that “we hope that the government will also consider additional reforms in the telecom sector to create a predictable, flexible, lightly regulated policy framework that incentivises the businesses to invest, reinvest and to compete on a level-playing field basis”.

The aim of the government is to support establishment of centres of excellence for research, training and skilling in Robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, Big Data Analytics, quantum communication and IoT.

“It is great to see the government’s continued efforts towards ‘Digital India’ by increasing investment for digital initiatives and enabling the NITI Aayog to direct efforts towards Artificial Intelligence. We look forward to partnering with the public and private sector to create a technology-driven ecosystem which fosters local innovation and research,” said Mahesh Nayak, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Labs India.

According to Arun Gupta, CEO and Founder of MoMagic Technologies, the budget has recognised the importance of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics as tools to further growth at national level.

“Niti Aayog’s plan is a welcome move which will push investments and research in this space and will put India on the right path for innovation,” Gupta added.

This is in regard with the Union Budget 2018-19. Enclosed is the quote on budget reaction on Cybersecurity from PwC, for your reference.

Sivarama Krishnan, Partner and Leader Cyber Security, PwC India, said: “The CoEs (Center of Excellences) will be a key step in building solutions which embed security by design and privacy by design”.

“It’s great to see that government is recognising future technology for building the future. Not only this helps in job creation but also advances the nation in competitive global space,” added Prabhakar Chaudhary, MD-HAL Robotics.

FM Arun Jaitley raises MUDRA lending target to Rs 4 lakh cr for FY’19.

Launched in April 2015, Rs 4.6 lakh crore credit has been sanctioned under the scheme so far to 10.38 crore beneficiaries.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today enhanced the lending target under the MUDRA Yojana, which funds the self-employed, to Rs 3 lakh crore for the 2018-19 fiscal.

Launched in April 2015, Rs 4.6 lakh crore credit has been sanctioned under the scheme so far to 10.38 crore beneficiaries.

Of the total loan accounts, 76 per cent are of women and more than 50 per cent belong to SCs, STs and OBCs, he said.  “It is proposed to set a target of Rs 3 lakh crore for lending under MUDRA for 2018-19 after having successfully exceeded the targets in all previous years,” he said.

The budget for the current fiscal had announced a loan target of Rs 2.44 lakh crore under the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA).  These loans are available for non-agricultural activities up to Rs 10 lakh and activities allied to agriculture such as dairy, poultry, bee keeping are also covered under it.

Three products are available under the PMMY namely Shishu, Kishor and Tarun to signify the stage of growth and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit or entrepreneur.

Shishu covers loans up to Rs 50,000 while Kishor covers above Rs 50,000 and up to Rs 5 lakh. Tarun category provides loans of above Rs 5 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh.

India Union Budget 2018 Top Highlights: No relief in I-T rates, but cess hiked to raise Rs 11,000 cr.

“The government had made many positive changes in the personal income-tax rate applicable to individuals in the last three years,” Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday did not provide any relief in the income tax rates for 2018-19, but increased the cess levied on it by 1 per cent to raise Rs 11,000 crore.

“The government had made many positive changes in the personal income-tax rate applicable to individuals in the last three years,” Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

“Therefore, I do not propose to make any further change in the structure of the income tax rates for individuals.”

In the Budget 2017-18, Jaitley had reduced the income tax rate to 5 per cent from 10 per cent under the income slab from Rs 2.5 lakh per annum to Rs 5 lakh per annum.

However, Jaitley proposed to hike the cess on personal income tax by one per cent.

“… at present there is a three per cent cess on personal income tax and corporation tax consisting of two per cent cess for primary education and one per cent cess for secondary and higher education. In order to take care of the needs of education and health of BPL and rural families, I have announced programs…,” Jaitley said.

“To fund this, I propose to increase the cess by one per cent. The existing three per cent education cess will be replaced by a four per cent health and education cess to be levied on the tax payable. This will enable us to collect an estimated additional amount of `11,000 crore.”

In addition, Jaitley proposed to “allow a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 in lieu of the present exemption in respect of transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses”.

“Apart from reducing paper work and compliance, this will help middle class employees even more in terms of reduction in their tax liability. This decision to allow
standard deduction shall significantly benefit the pensioners also, who normally do not enjoy any allowance on account of transport and medical expenses. The revenue cost of this decision is approximately Rs 8,000 crore,” Jaitley said.

“The total number of salaried employees and pensioners who will benefit from this decision is around 2.5 crore.”

The current tax-free limit for medical expense reimbursement is set at 15,000 per annum and transport allowance exemption of Rs 1,600 per month.

 Medical healthcare a big jumla, nothing to boost private investment and no tax relief. Is the FM serious, asks P Chidambaram.
  • Step by step, in every budget, I have been putting surplus money in the hands of the middle-class taxpayer, says FM Jaitley
  • We are not happy with Union Budget 2018, requests made for Andhra Pradesh not addressed, says State Finance Minister
  • Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh terms Union Budget 2018 ‘disappointing’, to hold nationwide demonstration tomorrow
  • Railways Minister Piyush Goyal says Union Budget 2018 is well balanced, economy will get a boost
  • CM Kejriwal alleges ‘step-motherly’ treatment to Delhi in Union Budget 2018, says expected financial assistance for important infra projects
  • HM Rajnath Singh calls Union Budget 2018 a grand budget, says this will cement India as a global economic power
  • UP CM Yogi Adityanath congratulates PM Modi and FM Jaitley on Budget 2018, lauds initiatives taken up for the poor, farmers, senior citizens
  • Union Budget 2018: I am sure India will scale new heights of progress in the years to come, says PM Modi
  • Decisions made in Budget 2018 considering concerns of senior citizens as well, says PM Modi
  • The farmers, Dalits, tribal communities will gain from this Budget. The Budget will bring new opportunities for rural India, says PM Modi
  • I congratulate the Finance Minister for the decision regarding MSP. I am sure it will help farmers tremendously, says PM Modi
  • PM Modi commends FM Arun Jaitley on Union Budget 2018
  • Union Budget 2018 is farmer friendly, common man friendly, business friendly and development friendly, says PM Modi
  • Union Budget 2018 has devoted attention to all sectors, ranging from agriculture to infrastructure, says PM Modi
  • Congratulate PM Modi on announcements in health, education, agriculture sectors in Union Budget 2018: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
  • FM fails fiscal consolidation test, this failure will have serious consequences, says former finance minister P Chidambaram
  • Congress calls Modi government’s 2018 budget an “attempted lip service” to issue of farmers and marginalised sections of society
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley concludes Budget 2018 speech; Parliament to now meet on Monday
  • Education and health cess to be increased from 3% to 4%, announces FM Jaitley
  • Custom duty on mobile phones increased from 15% to 20%, announces Jaitley
  • Long-term capital gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh to be taxed at the rate of 10%, announces FM Jaitley
  • Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses, says FM Jaitley
  • For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000: Arun Jaitley
  • All senior citizens will now be able to able to claim more benefits in terms of heath insurance, says FM Jaitley
  • FM Arun Jaitley announces incentives for senior citizens
  • No change in personal income tax rates for salaried class, announces FM Jaitley
  • Companies with turnover of upto Rs. 250 cr to be taxed at 25%, announces Jaitley
  • Tax payer base has risen from 6.47 crore in 2014-15 to 8.27 crore in 2016-17, says FM Jaitley
  • 100% tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 cr & above, announces FM
  • Tax buoyancy more than expected, thanks to greater compliance: FM Jaitley
  • Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5% of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3% expected for 2018-19: FM
  • Growth rate of direct taxes in 2016-17 and 2017-18 have been significant, says FM Jaitley
  • Automatic revision of MPs’ emoluments every five years, indexed to inflation, says FM Jaitley
  • Emoluments to President of India, Vice President and governors revised to Rs 5 lakh, Rs 4 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh per month, announces Jaitley
  • Gold Monetisation Scheme to be revamped, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • 80,000 crore disinvestment target for 2018-19, target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore, says FM Jaitley
  • Govt insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, & subsequently listed in stock exchange, as part of disinvestment programme: FM Jaitley
  • Airports Authority of India now has 124 airports, this will be expanded by 5 times. Aim of 1 billion trips a year: Arun Jaitley
  • Individual enterprises too to have unique ID, announces FM Arun Jaitley
  • On defence, Jaitley places “on record” appreciation to the three services for defending the nation
  • Aadhaar has provided an identity to every Indian, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • Government will take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions, says FM
  • Our focus will be on safety, maintenance of railway tracks, increase in use of technology and fog safety devices: FM Jaitley
  • 5 lakh WiFi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy Internet access, announces FM Jaitley
  • Mumbai transport system is being expanded, suburban network of 160 km planned for Bengaluru, says FM Jaitley
  • Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • 4267 unmanned railway crossing will be eliminated in next two years, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • All railways stations with more than 25,000 footfall to have escalators, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives being procured, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • All trains to be progressively provided with WiFI, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities, says FM Jaitley
  • Rs 1,48,528 crore will be the capital expenditure for Indian Railways for 2018-19, announces FM Jaitley
  • Have proposed construction of tunnel under the Se-La pass in Arunachal Pradesh, says FM Jaitley
  • Propose to develop ten prominent tourist destinations as Iconic tourism destinations, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • Government will contribute 12% of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors, announces FM Jaitley
  • FM Jaitley announces allocation of Rs. 56,619 crore for SC welfare and Rs. 39,135 crore for ST welfare
  • Target of Rs 3 lakh crore for lending under PM MUDRA Yojana, says FM Jaitley
  • Online loan sanctioning will be revamped for prompt decision making by the banks, says Jaitley
  • Mass formalization of MSME sector is happening after demonetization and GST, says FM Jaitley
  • Work of cleaning river Ganga has gathered speed, says FM Jaitley
  • One Govt. medical college to be ensured for every 3 parliamentary constituencies by upgrading 24 district-level colleges, says FM
  • Govt to set up two new full-fledged Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Jaitley
  • FM Arun Jaitley says National Health Protection Scheme will be world’s largest health protection scheme
  • Providing Rs 5 lakh per family per year for medical reimbursement, under National Health Protection Scheme, announces FM
  • Flagship National Health Protection scheme to be launched, announces FM Jaitley
  • We have constructed 6 crore toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission, our aim is to build 2 crore more toilets, says Jaitley
  • Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe population, announces Jaitley
  • We will introduce an integrated B. Ed programme for teachers. We have amended Right to Education Act, says Jaitley
  • Govt also proposes to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crore to poor women, says FM Jaitley
  • Govt proposes to increase the target of providing free LPG connections to 8 crore to poor women, says FM Jaitley
  • Proposed to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 Lakh Crore for 2018-19, announces FM Jaitley
  • The Special scheme will support Govts of Haryana, Punjab,UP and Delhi NCT to address air pollution concern, says Jaitley
  • Special scheme to be introduced for subsidised machinery for management of crop residue, says FM expressing concern on air pollution in Delhi/NCR
  • Air Pollution in Delhi/NCR is a matter of serious concern for us, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund to be set up – total corpus Rs 10,000 crore: FM
  • Restructured National Bamboo Mission to be launched with an allocation of Rs 1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner, announces FM
  • 500 crore allocated for Operation Green, announces Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
  • Allocation in Food Processing Ministry is being doubled to boost food processing, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
  • Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of 2000 crore to be set up for developing agricultural markets, says Jaitley
  • 470 APMCs have been connected to eNAM network, the rest to be connected by March 2018, says Jaitley
  • The Minimum Support Price of all crops shall be increased to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost, says Jaitley
  • Focus on agriculture and rural economy. Government to ensure that farmers get the MSP for their produce: FM Jaitley
  • Budget 2018 will work with states to provide more resources to improve quality of education, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • Our government is serious on the issue of farmer issues, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
  • Economy to grow at 7.2-7.5% in second half of 2018-19, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
  • The GDP growth signals the turnaround of the economy and we expect to grow further with such developments, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • All such economic reforms will help the country move forward in medium and large terms, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • Demonetisation has reduced cash currency in the country, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • We are allocating natural resources in a more transparent manner, there is a premium on honesty now, says Jaitley
  • Government led by PM Narendra Modi has implemented a series of fundamental structural reforms, says Jaitley
  • FM Arun Jaitley rises to present Budget 2018-19 in Parliament
  • FM Arun Jaitley to unveil Budget 2018-19 in Parliament shortly
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to make his Budget 2018 speech in Hindi
  • This will be India’s first post-GST budget and is being keenly watched to see what Jaitley does to boost growth in Asia’s third largest economy.
  • Copies of Union Budget 2018 being checked by security inside Parliament premises
  • PM Narendra Modi reaches Parliament House, Cabinet meeting to begin shortly
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives at the Parliament to present Union Budget 2018-19
  • The government is likely to increase the budget allocation for farm education, research and extension by up to 15 per cent to around Rs 8,000 crore
  • The government is likely to increase the budget allocation for farm education, research and extension by up to 15 per cent to around Rs 8,000 crore.
  • There is an expectation that common man may get some relief in income tax by way of a raise in the exemption limit.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2018 at 11am during the Budget Session
  • Roughly 1.8 million taxpayers were added due to demonetisation-cum-GST, representing 3 per cent of existing taxpayers, pre-budget survey said.
  • Demonetisation resulted in widening of taxpayers’ base and rise in household savings, said the Economic Survey.
  • The survey said India’s foreign exchange reserves reached $409.4 billion at end-December 2017.
  • The survey pegged the country’s growth at 7 to 7.5 per cent for 2018-19.
  • In Economic Survey, FM Jaitley said that Indian economy grew by 6.75% 2017-18.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present Union Budget 2018-19 at 11 am.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to present Union Budget 2018-19 at 11 am.