'Investment in technology will bring accountability and transparency'

Sunil Pradhan
Thursday, 1 February 2018

The government has proposed to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots to provide broadband access to five crore rural citizens and also provide Rs 10,000 crore for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in the 2018-19 budget, which will improve the internet penetration and expand the reach of the government through the internet in remote areas.

Pune: With the Union government coming up with various technological initiatives in the 2018-19 budget, experts have shared that they will bring a higher level of accountability and transparency in the system, thereby setting up a model of holistic development.

The government has proposed to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots to provide broadband access to five crore rural citizens and also provide Rs 10,000 crore for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in the 2018-19 budget, which will improve the internet penetration and expand the reach of the government through the internet in remote areas.

Similarly, the allocation on digital India programme has been doubled and increased to Rs 3,073 crore in 2018-19. The government has also proposed designing of a scheme to assign every individual enterprise in India a unique identification.

Speaking about the aim to increased the reach of the internet and ways to strengthen telecom network, cyber expert Pankajj Ghode, Chairman of Global Blockchain Foundation, said that bringing the enterprises under a unique identification will create a large database, which will be with the government and improve tax collection, thereby bringing larger reforms. "The enterprises will be more accountable and will have to be transparent. The enterprises will be benefited by such a move, as the data collected by the government will help to formulate macro policy measures, which will further help research and growth in their respective fields," added Ghode.
Similarly, speaking about spending on internet penetration in rural villages Ghode said that the industry is moving from voice to data and so such moves are always welcome. "We need to understand that if we want to have a digital India, we need to have strong telecom networks and so there is need of a strong telecom infrastructure, which will promote growth," added Ghode.
Another expert Anil Raj of Cybervault Security Systems Private Limited welcomed the move of the government but stressed on efficient execution of the proposed expenditure. "We are well aware that telecom sector is struggling due to ongoing cut-throat competition. In such a scenario, we need to have a balance of needful policy measures rather than only focussing on strengthening the telecom infrastructure," added Raj. Speaking on unique identification for enterprises, Raj said that the move will certainly benefit the government with the help of a large database but it will be of less importance for the enterprises. "Yes, the enterprises will be more accountable to government and will be under the scanner of the government but we also need to understand that a small enterprise in its initial stage struggles to fall in an organised environment. There are ups and downs for small enterprises and bringing them under the scanner will not help small enterprises much," added Raj. As the government has planned to use information technology for keeping a track in various sectors through online mode, Ajit Navle, a farmer said that the move of the government to connect Gramin Agricultural Markets through eNAM portal to provide farmers a facility for direct sale to consumers and bulk purchasers will only help large farmers and not the smaller ones.
 

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