On the 28th of February Indian PM, Narendra Modi recently addressed a post-budget webinar on the topic of ‘Ease of Living using Technology’. The Indian government has organized 12 post-budget webinars, and this is the fifth one, to obtain ideas and suggestions for the successful execution of the measures declared in the Union Budget 2023.
During his address, the Prime Minister emphasized that India of the 21st century is constantly empowering its citizens with the use of technology, and every budget in the past few years has emphasized the ease of living for people with the help of technology. He also stressed that in this year’s budget, priority has been given to technology and a human touch.
The Prime Minister highlighted the contradictions in the priorities of the previous governments, where a particular section of people always looked for government intervention and expected it to do good for the people, but their entire life was spent in the absence of these facilities.
He also said that another section of people wanted to move forward but was pulled down by pressure and obstacles created by government interference. The Prime Minister took note of the changes taking place and said that the policies and their positive effects have been seen in situations where it is most necessary to simplify and make life easier.
The Prime Minister elaborated on the role of technology in this, giving examples of initiatives like the One Nation One Ration Card and the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile) trinity, Arogya Setu and CoWin App, railway reservation, and Common Service Centers. The Prime Minister declared that, with these decisions, the government has improved the ease of living of the citizens.
The PM noted that ease of communication with the government has been embraced by the public, as dialogue has become simpler and people are receiving prompt resolutions. Examples of grievances related to the Income Tax System that were resolved without a face-to-face interaction were provided by him. The Prime Minister suggested various departments collectively think about using technology for solving their problems and reaching global standards.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need to keep updating the training process for government employees and highlighted that with modifications based on feedback from citizens, significant improvement can be witnessed. The PM suggested creating a system where feedback can be easily submitted for improvement in training.
The Prime Minister stressed that the government is investing heavily in technology, ensuring that the benefits of digital infrastructure reach everyone equally. Talking about the GeM portal, he illustrated how it is giving a presentation to small businessmen and even street vendors in government procurement. In the same way, e-NAM is connecting farmers to buyers in various locations.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need to set a few targets in order to harness the potential of 5G and AI in terms of their impact on industry, medicine, education, and agriculture. He asked about the ways through which these technologies can be deployed for the welfare of the common citizens, and the sectors to be focused on.
The Prime Minister suggested exploring ways to expand the Digilocker services so that more people can benefit from them. He also stressed the need to brainstorm and identify the obstacles faced by MSMEs and pointed out the government’s efforts to reduce the compliance cost for small enterprises thereby reducing time.
The Prime Minister concluded his address by stressing that the success of the budget or any government policy depends on how well it is prepared, but also highlighted the importance of people’s cooperation. He referred to India’s talented youth, skilled manpower, and willingness to adopt technology in the villages and suggested finding ways to make the most out of it.