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Everything on tech and startups in Budget 2022

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday presented the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. Here are all highlights on tech and tech startups:

A Digital University will be set up by the government for providing online education in multiple languages, Sitharaman said. A web portal has been announced for skill development.

Startups serving agricultural and rural sectors will be served with a fund mobilized via NABARD. 

For setting up charging stations at scale, a battery swapping policy will be put in place and interoperability standards will be put in place. Battery or Energy as a Service will be pursued as a model, Sitharaman said.

Settlements of disputes, conciliation. As a further step to enhance transparency, a paperless end-to-end online e-bill system for use by all central ministries for procurements will be launched. Digitally signed bills, tracking features will be built into this system.

Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics: A task force will be launched for serving the market.

Telecom sector: Spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 for 5G rollout. 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.

Data centres and energy storage projects will be provided infrastructure status, Sitharaman said, paving the way for them to get easier financing. 

Central bank digital currency: The RBI will begin issuing its long-mulled digital rupee currency using blockchain technology in this fiscal year.

Startups: Tax incentives will be provided for one more year to startups that had already been extended through 2023, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Virtual Digital Asset taxation: Cryptocurrencies and other “virtual digital assets” will be taxed at 30%. No deduction will be allowed while computing this except cost of acquisition. Loss from such acquisition cannot be set off against any such income, Sitharaman said. Gifts of these VDAs will also be taxed. 

Customs administrations of Special Economic Zones will be “fully IT driven” with only risk-based checks, the government announced. 

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