ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Union Budget and the 'Digital Divide'

Old Wine in New Bottle

The emphasis on use of digital technologies to bridge the "rural-urban gap" in the union budget is limited to high talk and minimal allocations. The need for a more comprehensive and peoples' participation-oriented rural action plan should have been the focus while setting sectoral allocations, but that is not to be in this mid-year budget.

The Union Budget 2014-15 is the first exhaustive policy document of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that rose to power on the promise of good governance and development for all. For that reason alone it will be subjected to more analysis and reading of policy signals than a mid-term budget merits. That expectations were sky-high was only predictable but there were also fears of cutbacks in food subsidies and welfare schemes red-flagged as “populist” by adherents of high gross domestic product growth. These sections were the most boisterous following the triumph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party. The budget session was also held amid fears of a deficient monsoon and at a time when the prices of essential commodities were running high. Prices have since eased and the monsoon has somewhat revived but apprehensions of a drought year still persist in many parts of India. The focus of the present budget is on uplifting rural India through urban amenities and technology upgrade.

Digital India’

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