One Lakh villages to go digital over next 5 years: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament on Friday, said that the Government will make one lakh villages into Digital Villages over the next five years. This, he said, will be achieved by expanding the Common Service Centres (CSCs).

“The Common Service Centres are expanding their services and also creating digital infrastructure in the villages, including connectivity, to convert the villages into Digital Villages,” said Piyush Goyal. “More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens,” he added.

The Finance Minister said mobile tariff in India is now possibly the lowest in the world, catapulting India as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data.

“Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years. The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world,” said Goyal.

Praising the ‘Make in India’ programme, Goyal said the initiative taken by the Narendra Modi-led government has seen India emerging as the new destination for the mobile phone manufacturing industry. “Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities,” he added.

The Finance Minister termed the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer as game changers.
“Bank nationalisation was first done 50 years ago, but a large part of the country was still left out of the economic mainstream with no access to formal banking. In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened,” said Piyush Goyal.

The Finance Minister said Aadhaar has ensured better-targeted subsidies.

“Aadhaar is now near-universally implemented. This has helped ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen,” he said.