5G SPECTRUM AUCTION AND BOOST IN INVESTMENT IN TELECOM SECTOR
It is proposed that Government would conduct a 5G spectrum auction in FY 2022-2023 for the rollout of 5G telecom services in India. Auction of 5G spectrum, in particular is expected to provide growth and enhance opportunities in the telecom industry. It has also been proposed to launch a scheme for design-led manufacturing to boost 5G in the country. A scheme for manufacturing under 5G will be set up under the Production Linked Incentive scheme. 5% of annual collections under the USO fund will be allocated. This will be used for R&D. Completion of BharatNet is expected under 2025.
Impact: This move of 5G spectrum auction roll-out and the commitment to roll out optical fibre in all villages by 2025 will give an additional thrust to investment in new technologies in the telecom sector and will also bring more FDI in the sector.
DIGITAL CURRENCY AND VIRTUAL ASSETS
- The FM announced issue of digital rupee using block chain technology by the RBI starting 2022-23 to be called as Central Bank Digital currency, aimed at cheaper and efficient currency management system.
- The proceeds from transfer of Digital currency or other virtual assets will be charges @ 30% and the gift of virtual digital assets shall be taxable in the hands of the recipient.
- It has also been announced that TDS @ 1% will be levied against investments in virtual assets above a certain threshold.
- It has also been announced that any losses incurred as a result of virtual digital assets will not be allowed to be offset against other gains.
Impact: The introduction of the country's own cryptocurrency/digital currency shall provide for a more regulated system and bring an end to the unorganized digital currency market, thus providing more security to the digital currency holders. This will also make India as one of the largest economies to have its own digital currency, after China.
IMPETUS TO MSME SECTOR
- As an impetus to the MSME sector, it has been announced to roll out an INR 6000 crore programme, Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) over five years to revive the MSMEs impacted due to Covid-19 pandemic. More details w.r.t RAMP are still awaited to see if which MSMEs will be directly impacted or benefitted from the said program.
- MSMEs such as Udyam (for registration of MSMEs), e-shram (national database of unorganised workers), NCS (portal to facilitate registration of and connect job seekers, job providers, skill providers, career counsellors, etc.) and Aseem portal (portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities) will be linked with widened scope. These portals will provide G-C, B-C and B-B services including credit facilitation, enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities.
- The ECLGS has been proposed to be extended upto March 2023 with a total guaranteed cover of INR 5 lakh crores.
- The import tariffs on inputs have been reduced and tariffs on end products shall be increased.
- The custom duty exemption on import of steel scrap has been proposed to be extended by a year till March 2023 to help the MSME Sector.
Impact: The proposals shall provide more protection to the MSMEs and a necessary boost to the MSMEs and accelerate their performance.
REFORMS FOR START-UPS IN UNION BUDGET 2022
- It proposed to extend the tax holiday scheme for startups incorporated till 31st March 2023. Earlier the startups incorporated post 31st March 2016 till 31st March 2022 were eligible to take advantage of tax holiday scheme, wherein startups could avail a tax holiday for three out of seven years from the date of incorporation.
- Newly-established manufacturing startups and companies will also enjoy an extension on the concessional tax regime of 15%, which was introduced for newly-incorporated domestic manufacturing companies.
- It is announces that a fund will be established with blended capital which would be raised under the co-investment model facilitated through NABARD to finance startups in agriculture & rural enterprises for the farm produce value chain. Startups will support Farmer Producer Organization (FPOs), machinery for farmers on rental basis at farm level and technology including IT based support.
- Statups will be promoted to facilitate Drone Shakti through varied applications and for Drone as a service (DrAAS).
- 25% of Defence Research &Development (R&D) budget has been earmarked for startups, private industry and academia.
Impact: These move and initiatives are likely to help young startups in meeting their working capital requirements especially during the crucial initial years of their operations and help them sustain and carve a niche for themselves with strong fundamentals.
PM GATISHAKTI PLAN – ESPECIALLY FOCUSSING ON IMPETUS TO INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR AND ROAD
The Government proposed that PM GatiShakti National Master Plan will encompass the seven engines for economic transformation, seamless multimodal connectivity and logistics efficiency. It will also include the infrastructure developed by the state governments as per the GatiShakti Master Plan. The focus will be on planning, financing including through innovative ways, use of technology, and speedier implementation.
7 engines in the National Infrastructure Pipeline as proposed by the Government:
- Road Transport:
The Government proposed that PM GatiShakti Master Plan for Expressways will be formulated in 2022-23 to facilitate faster movement of people and goods. The National Highways network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23. It is further proposed that INR 20,000 crore will be mobilized through innovative ways of financing to complement the public resources.
- Seamless Multimodal Movement of Goods and
The Government proposed that the data exchange among all mode operators will be brought on Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), designed for Application Programming Interface (API). This will provide for efficient movement of goods through different modes, reducing logistics cost and time, assisting just-in-time inventory management, and in eliminating tedious documentation. Most importantly, this will provide real time information to all stakeholders, and improve international competitiveness. It is further proposed that open-source mobility stack, for organizing seamless travel of passengers will also be facilitated.
- Multimodal Logistic Parks:
The Government proposed that contracts for implementation of Multimodal Logistics Parks at four locations through PPP mode will be awarded in 2022-23.
The Government proposed that Railways will develop new products and efficient logistics services for small farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises, besides taking the lead in integration of Postal and Railways networks to provide seamless solutions for movement of parcels.
It is further stated that 'One Station-One Product' concept will be popularized to help local businesses & supply chains.
As a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat, 2,000 km of network will be brought under Kavach, the indigenous world-class technology for safety and capacity augmentation in 2022- 23. The Government proposed that four hundred new-generation Vande Bharat Trains with better energy efficiency and passenger riding experience will be developed and manufactured during the next three years.
It is further proposed that one hundred PM GatiShakti Cargo Terminals for multimodal logistics facilities will be developed during the next three years.
- Mass Urban transport including Connectivity to
The Government proposed that innovative ways of financing and faster implementation will be encouraged for building metro systems of appropriate type at scale. Multimodal connectivity between mass urban transport and railway stations will be facilitated on priority. It is further proposed that the design of metro systems, including civil structures, will be re-oriented and standardized for Indian conditions and needs.
- Parvatmala: National Ropeways Development
The Government proposed that as a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative to conventional roads in difficult hilly areas, National Ropeways Development Programme will be taken up on PPP mode. It is conveyed that the aim is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism. This may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit system is not feasible. It is further proposed that contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km will be awarded in 2022-23.
- Capacity Building for Infrastructure
The Government proposed that with technical support from the Capacity Building Commission, central ministries, state governments, and their infra-agencies will have their skills upgraded. This will ramp up capacity in planning, design, financing (including innovative ways), and implementation management of the PM GatiShakti infrastructure projects.
For 2022-23, Government proposed allocation of INR 1 lakh crore to assist the states in catalyzing overall investments in the economy. These fifty-year interest free loans are over and above the normal borrowings allowed to the states.
This allocation will be used for PM GatiShakti related and other productive capital investment of the states. It will also include components for:
- Supplemental funding for priority segments of PM Gram Sadak Yojana, including support for the states' share,
- Digitisation of the economy, including digital payments and completion of OFC network, and
- Reforms related to building byelaws, town planning schemes, transit-oriented development, and transferable development rights.
Impact: The proposals shall lead to economic growth and sustainable development by creating create a synergy between infrastructure and logistics. This will enable an efficient movement of masses and goods thus increasing productivity and reducing cost and time.
IBC AMENDMENTS TO ENHANCE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE RESOLUTION PROCESS AND FACILITATION OF CROSS-BORDER INSOLVENCY RESOLUTION – UNION BUDGET 2022
Government has proposed for series of amendments in the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in order to ensure improved and speedier voluntary winding up of Companies, dispute resolution mechanism and enable effective cross border insolvency resolution framework conducive to enhance efficiency of resolution process. Ministry of Corporate Affairs has been mulling to implement an effective framework for cross border insolvency which was pending since long. But now since announcement has been made in the Budget speech providing the clarity, it is expected that Cross Border Insolvency framework soon be implemented, hopefully in coming months.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) had earlier released a discussion paper during August 2021 seeking comments and recommendations from stakeholders on Code of Conduct for CoC. Now the other proposal made in budget speech is the inclusion of a code of conduct for the Committee of Creditors (CoC) (which again is pending since long) in IBC framework to have solid grip over the decisive panel on insolvency resolution proposals will also be implemented soon.
Impact: The effective cross border insolvency resolution process framework in IBC would be beneficial for lenders as it would help them recover their dues from defaulting borrowers by disposing of their foreign assets as well as personal assets of their promoters that are parked in offshore locations. These steps will lead to gradual growth of IBC framework and ensure to achieve its overall objectives.
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