New Initiatives, Programmes Announced in Budget 2022: Digital Rupee, ECLGS, PM Gati Shakti and more

Nirmala Sitharman's fourth budget is balanced with a focus on economic growth and development, the adoption of digital currency, and an emphasis on mental health.

 From Digital Rupee to Extended ECLGS, All That's New in Budget 2022

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2022 is balanced and growth-oriented with a focus on inclusive welfare. With pragmatic measures, she has chalked the way for economic recovery after the pandemic and made room for reforms. There has been increased impetus on public capital expenditure to boost productivity and investment, and some changes have been introduced while trying to keep pace with global trends like the growing interest in digital assets.   

Here are a few initiatives and programmes announced by the government in Budget 2022. 

Digital rupee and taxes on crypto

The Finance Minister announced the introduction of the digital rupee -- using blockchain and other technologies. This will come as a big boost to the economy. It will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India in FY 2022-23 

This initiative is a giant step that will take the Digital India programme forward. Sitaraman also announced the opening of 75 digital banks in 75 districts to encourage digital payments and digital banking in India. 

Further providing legitimacy to cryptocurrency, the government also announced a 30 per cent tax on any income from the transfer of virtual digital assets. 

Both these developments will provide a push to the adoption of virtual assets in the country.

Also read: 5 Crypto Predictions for India In 2022

ECLGS extended

Small and medium businesses suffered a huge blow due to COVID-19. To provide them with some respite, Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme is extended until March 2023. A guarantee cover of ₹5 lakh crore has been allotted with an additional guarantee of ₹50,000 crore for the hospitality sector.

Under EGLS, banks provide additional loans to existing borrowers without asking for more collateral. These loans are guaranteed by the government. This scheme has been put into place to help MSMEs facing liquidity crunch because of pandemic-related restrictions to stay in business. 

Also read: Effects of The Lockdown on Online and Offline Stores

National Tele-Mental Health Programme

The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of people of all ages, from cities to villages. According to the National Health Mission, six to seven per cent of Indians suffer from mental disorders. Addressing that concern, Sitharaman announced a National Tele-Mental Health Programme, which will include 23 tele-mental healthcare centres of excellence with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) being the central point. Technological support for the programme will be given by IIT-Bangalore. 

PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

The PM Gati Shakti Master Plan has been designed in order to provide a boost to infrastructure and allow for faster movement of people and goods. The ₹100 lakh-crore project will be driven by seven engines of growth and transformation – roads, mass transport, ports, waterways, railways, airports, and logistic infrastructure, the FM said.

This plan will also help in creating more jobs and providing entrepreneurship opportunities in the country. 

Schemes for Women and Children 

The FM announced the allocation of ₹25,172.28 crore for the welfare of women and children, which is three per cent higher than the last FY. She acknowledged the importance of Nari Shakti as the guiding light for India's women-led development in the future. Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Shakti, and Mission Vatsalya were launched recently to provide integrated benefits to children. Under Saksham Anganwadi, two lakh anganwadis will be upgraded.  

From digitisation to mental health, which should be concerning the government right now, the Budget has made meticulous provisions for all. It has been appreciated by many and instills hope in us for a better financial year ahead focussed on economic revival.  

Also read :Union Budget 2022: Key Highlights

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