The Finance Minister’s proposal to set up a Tiger Protection Force for the protection of our wildlife heritage also sums up the Budget as a whole for 2008-09.
To protect the emerging economic tiger, he has made efforts to continue the growth path that the country has witnessed while maintaining the inclusive nature of the government’s reforms program. This was evident from the relief for the small and marginal farmers as also the emphasis on rural development.
The role of technology was acknowledged by the Finance Minister when he stated that the primary driver of the enhanced tax collection has been the information systems adopted by the Department.
For the IT industry, the outlay on the skill development programme as also the increased focus on technology usage even areas like Public Distribution Systems with the Smart Card is a sign that the digital delivery of services is an irreversible process in the country.
The prospect of digital equipped State data centres and Common Service Centres across the country is exciting and will significantly augment the e-governance efforts in the country.
The good news for IT and the people-intensive industries is the incentives to education with 20% more outlay. Announcement of 3 new IITs, IIScs and 6000 high caliber schools shows our commitment to quality education which augurs well for our supply chain and human capital.
Another great initiative is the 100crore National Knowledge Network linking Knowledge institutions, and the proposed electronic digital broadband, rural networks, State Data Centres, the employment pool for KPOs and so on.
(S Ramadorai is the CEO & Managing Director, TCS)