Tech Budget 2024 highlights: From EV ecosystem to free electricity with rooftop solarization, check announcements | Tech News

Tech Budget 2024 highlights: From EV ecosystem to free electricity with rooftop solarization, check announcements

Tech Budget 2024 highlights: FM Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget today at the Parliament. From free electricity with rooftop polarization to the expansion of the EV ecosystem, check all the tech announcements.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 01 2024, 13:32 IST
FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Tech Budget 2024 highlights: FM Nirmala Sitharaman made several big announcements for the tech sector. (YouTube (DD National))
Tech Budget 2024 highlights: FM Nirmala Sitharaman made several big announcements for the tech sector. (YouTube (DD National))

Tech Budget 2024 highlights: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget 2024 today, February 1. It was telecast live on the official channel of Parliament Sansad TV and Doordarshan. Like yesteryears, FM Sitharaman presented the Budget via the paperless method - she was seen carrying a red-coloured 'bahi khata' with the national emblem embossed on it in golden colour which contains the Budget document in paperless form, in effect a tablet. Presenting the budget, the FM said, “When we assumed office in 2014, the country was facing enormous challenges. With 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' as its mantra, the government overcame those challenges.” Although artificial intelligence (AI) was widely expected by experts and executives to take center stage in the announcements for the tech sector, there was no AI-related announcement.

Budget 2024 documents - where to find?

The interim Budget 2024 will be made available via the Union Budget Mobile App which is available on both Android and iOS. You can also go to this website - www.indiabudget.gov.in. Check out the key announcements for the tech sector from the Interim Budget 2024.

Budget 2024: 5 key announcements for the tech sector

1. The Finance Minister announced that one crore households will get up to 300 units of free electricity every month with rooftop solarization. It follows the resolve taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22.

2. A corpus of Rs. 1 lakh Cr. will be provided with long-term financing or refinancing options. This will be given for up to a period of 50 years with no interest and with low or nill interest rates. This is aimed at encouraging the private sector to scale up research and innovations, combining the powers of youth and technology.

3. A new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep tech technologies for defense purposes and export under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat infrastructure, the Finance Minister announced.

4. The Finance Minister announced the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem with the help of a supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure. There will be a greater adoption of e-buses for public transport.

5. The Finance Minister said that the government's priority is to adequately and timely finance technology for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow. To achieve this, the availability of relevant tech, proper training and adequate finances is crucial. FM said that the government will facilitate sustaining high and more resource-efficient economic growth. This move is aimed at contributing to energy security, in terms of availability, affordability and accessibility.

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01 Feb 2024, 12:04 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Ensuring timely and adequate finances a priority, says FM

The Finance Minister said that the government's priority is to adequately and timely finance technology for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow. To achieve this, the availability of relevant tech, proper training and adequate finances is crucial. FM said that the government will facilitate sustaining high and more resource-efficient economic growth.  This move is aimed at contributing to energy security, in terms of availability, affordability and accessibility.

Moreover, the Electronic National Agriculture Market has integrated 1361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with trading volume of ` 3 lakh crore, sayid FM. National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

01 Feb 2024, 11:45 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Expansion of EV infrastructure

The Finance Minister announced the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem with the help of a supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure. There will be a greater adoption of e-buses for public transport.

01 Feb 2024, 11:41 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: New scheme for deep tech for defense purposes

A new scheme will be launched for strengthening deep tech technologies for defense purposes and export under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat infrastructure, the Finance Minister announced. 

01 Feb 2024, 11:39 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Long-term loans for private sector

FM also announced that a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh Cr. will be provided with long-term financing or refinancing options. This will be given for up to a period of 50 years with no interest and with low or nill interest rates. This is aimed at encouraging the private sector to scale up research and innovations, combining the powers of youth and technology.

01 Feb 2024, 11:37 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Free electricity on rooftop solarization

Finance Minister announced that one crore households will get up to 300 units of free electricity every month with rooftop solarization.

01 Feb 2024, 11:27 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Skill India Mission helped upskill youth with technical skills

FM Nirmala Sitharaman talked about upskilling the youth with technical skills via the Skill India Mission. “The Skill India Mission has trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and re-skilled 54 lakh youth, and established 3000 new ITIs. A large number of institutional higher learning, namely 7 IITs, 16 IIITs, 7 IIMs, 15 AIIMS and 390 Universities have been set up”, she said.

01 Feb 2024, 11:13 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’, says FM

Presenting the Union Budget 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “When we assumed office in 2014, the country was facing enormous challenges. With 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' as its mantra, the government overcame those challenges”.

01 Feb 2024, 11:09 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman takes the podium

01 Feb 2024, 11:00 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Paperless budget to be presented

Like yesteryears, Finance Minister Nimala Sitharaman will be presenting the Interim Budget via paperless means at the Parliament. She was seen carrying a red-coloured 'bahi khata'  with the national emblem embossed on it in golden colour which contains the Budget document in paperless form. Since 2019, the FM has adopted this paperless strategy of swapping traditional documents with a digital budget. She kept a digital tablet in a red 'bahi khata' style pouch.

01 Feb 2024, 10:50 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: Where to watch Budget 2024, find documents

Where to catch Budget 2024 live updates?

Catch all the live updates of Interim Budget 2024 with our live coverage on Union Budget 2024.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman's speech live - Where to watch?

FM Budget speech will be telecast live on the official channel of Parliament Sansad TV and Doordarshan.

Budget 2024 documents - where to find?

The interim Budget 2024 will be made available via the Union Budget Mobile App which is available on both Android and iOS. After the FM speech is over, you can also go to this website - www.indiabudget.gov.in.

01 Feb 2024, 10:36 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live: AI at focus

NITI Aayog has advocated a forward-looking strategy, proposing the establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to fortify AI development and foster application-based research. Over the past five years, AI has not only permeated various sectors but has become a recurring focus in the Union Budget, the nation's pivotal financial document. Despite the active promotion of AI by the Indian government, positioning the nation as an AI and analytics powerhouse, challenges persist in the widespread adoption of AI solutions. These challenges necessitate a strategic approach, prompting industry stakeholders to eagerly await more robust policies and measures in the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25.

01 Feb 2024, 10:18 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live

Amit Jaju, Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group (India) in terms of tech and cybersecurity said, “For the 2024 budget, it's imperative that the Indian government prioritizes substantial investments in cyber defense, artificial intelligence (AI), and defense technology research and development. With the escalating number of cyber attacks targeting both business and government infrastructures, allocating funds for these areas is not just a necessity but a strategic imperative. Additionally, enhancing cyber insurance limits is crucial to provide a robust safety net against the financial impacts of cyber threats. Equally important is the creation of a dynamic talent ecosystem, equipped with advanced skills to effectively combat cybercrime. This budget should reflect a clear vision towards fortifying our digital infrastructure and nurturing a skilled workforce, thereby bolstering India's resilience against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.”

01 Feb 2024, 10:04 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live

As we await the budget, these were some of the major announcements from last year:

  • The finance minister announced the National Data Governance Policy which allowed startups and academia to access anonymized data. This policy was announced to simplify the KYC process while anonymizing individual data.
  • 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence was announced. FM said, “Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, developing cutting edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, sustainable cities.”
  • 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services was announced last year for a new range of opportunities, business models and employment potential.
  • A national digital library for children and adolescents was announced with learning materials.

01 Feb 2024, 09:49 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live

“As we approach Budget 2024, the focus is squarely on the digital frontier, with high expectations for a transformative approach to digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI). Anticipation is high for policies that not only support the growth of digital ecosystems, but also prioritize the development of AI capabilities, providing a robust and competitive landscape consistent with the changing needs of our linked world," said Bhaskar Ganguli, Director Sales and Marketing, Mass Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

01 Feb 2024, 09:34 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

In the 2023 Budget, FM Sitharaman, "... introduced the government's artificial intelligence (AI) plans, announcing three AI centres of excellence in top educational institutes. This initiative, aimed at realizing the 'Make AI in India' and 'Make AI Work for India' vision, was expected to see partnerships with industry leaders for interdisciplinary research and developing advanced applications in agriculture, health, and sustainable cities, thereby fostering an effective AI ecosystem and nurturing talent."

In Budget 2024, FM is expected to, "...elaborate on India's AI strategy and allocate funds for specific AI programmes. If she does, the expansion will align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent AI Mission and India's first AI unicorn, Krutrim AI. Various government departments, including the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, are exploring AI's potential in public service delivery."

"Data is central to AI research. Developing indigenous data sets, particularly for Indian languages, is essential. The proposed India Dataset Platform (IDP) in the AI Expert Group Report (2023) could benefit from dedicated funding, accelerating its operationalization. Tax incentives for data centre investments could further support hardware imports." (With inputs from Prosenjit Datta, Content and Knowledge CoE lead – EY India / Rajnish Gupta, partner, Tax and Economic Policy, Group - EY.), reported by Live Mint. 

01 Feb 2024, 09:18 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

Start-ups - Amit Singh- Founder and CEO of TelioLabs said, “We need to give special attention to the growth of start-ups in the telecom sector. And if we expect innovation in the Telecom sector, this can be achieved through targeted grants for start-ups. Such financial support empowers emerging ventures to do ground-breaking research, giving birth to cutting-edge technologies."

01 Feb 2024, 09:03 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

Artificial intelligence - On AI, LiveMint quoted Manav Subodh, Managing Director, 1M1B as saying, "In a landscape increasingly shaped by AI, it's imperative to harness its power as an equalizing force; one that can democratize skills and knowledge across different social strata - making quality skilling accessible to all. To realize this vision, I hope that the 2024 budget prioritizes the establishment of AI hubs and centers of excellence, even in Tier 2-3 cities." he added, “The 2024 budget should emphasize robust investments in digital infrastructure to unlock the untapped potential of our nation's greatest asset – its youth".

01 Feb 2024, 08:49 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live

“Our proposals, including reduced fees, levies, and GST exemption, aim to ignite rapid growth in Fixed Broadband, contributing significantly to India's digital infrastructure. We also advocate for the expansion of PM-WANI based Public Wi-Fi hotspots, urging duty and levy waivers. Budgetary assistance for the Satcom industry and incentives for local mobile handset components align with our vision for a digitally empowered India. We are hopeful that these measures, if incorporated, will accelerate the sector's growth, fully aligning with Government priorities and recent collaborations between India and the US in cutting-edge technologies”, says TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum (BIF).

01 Feb 2024, 08:32 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

“Amidst global anxieties, India shines as a potent growth engine. However, achieving our ambitious $30 trillion target by 2047 requires more than relying solely on domestic consumption. Throughout history, thriving economies have built their castles on a positive balance of payments and export prowess, with each key sector acting as a brick in the wall. Today, one such sector with undeniable potential is gaming. Consider the world's top four economies – their gaming industries stand tall, exporting innovation and creativity. As we approach the upcoming budget, there is a crucial need to prioritize and support this burgeoning sector. Duty Credit Scrips for export-oriented gaming companies will not merely be a handout; it will signify a strategic investment in high-skilled jobs, GDP growth, and building global influence”, says Gaurav Agarwal, Co-Founder, Gamezop.

01 Feb 2024, 08:17 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

“As we anticipate the Interim Union Budget 2024, HMD Global holds optimistic expectations for the Indian smartphone market. Foreseeing an extension or enhancement to the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) policy, we aim to fortify local production and encourage an indigenous components supply chain. The budget's positive impact on operations, particularly in local manufacturing, is anticipated, though precise planning hinges on final announcements. Our wish-list emphasizes more incentives for local production, encouragement for components manufacturing within India, and support for exports. In the face of potential changes, we stand ready to make necessary adjustments, anticipating a budget that builds upon existing policies for stability and growth. HMD Global remains committed to contributing to India's self-reliance and the global success of its smartphone industry”, says Ravi Kunwar, Vice President- India & APAC, HMD Global.

01 Feb 2024, 08:03 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

“A greater alignment between fintech companies and public institutions is crucial for the evolution of India's fintech ecosystem. Financial products built on top of India Stack have borne strong results in the world of digital payments. We expect the budget to provide incentives that encourage fintechs to drive further innovations for other aspects of banking like credit, investments, savings and advisory. We also expect digital lending, especially small ticket size loans, to grow significantly with the proper checks and balances in place to protect borrowers. We expect the budget to further scale centres of excellence for AI innovation as well as increase investments in supercomputing to drive the growth of home-grown AI solutions,” says Bipin Preet Singh, Co-founder and CEO, MobiKwik.”

01 Feb 2024, 07:47 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live

What tech czars expect - “As India charges ahead on its digital transformation journey, the upcoming budget offers a timely window to cultivate a world-class data center ecosystem that steers this advancement. We are hopeful of incentives to spur domestic manufacturing and infrastructure builds specially tailored for data centers' massive scale and seamless connectivity needs. Attractive capital subsidies for setting up future-ready facilities and easy financing options to offset development costs will unleash growth. We also envision provisions that encourage the adoption of renewable energy to meet data centers' clean power appetites. Additionally, preferential procurement directives favoring home-grown data centers will provide an upside. With an emphasis on nurturing a cutting-edge domestic data center industry, India can swiftly go up the technology value chain and cement dominance in delivering digital services globally. Having granted an infrastructure tag has remarkably expedited logistics,” says Bimal Khandelwal, Chief Financial Officer, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (India).

01 Feb 2024, 07:31 IST

Tech Budget 2024 Live:

Welcome everyone to our Budget 2024 coverage today. This is an important day as the PM Narendra Modi led NDA government will be presenting an interim budget. As this is an election year, this budget will only be a vote-on-account as a full-fledged budget will be presented after the Lok Sabha elections. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be doing the honours in Parliament and we will track the announcements as and when they happen. This marks Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's sixth budget.

First Published Date: 01 Feb, 07:31 IST
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