Union Budget brings incentives for technology startups, AI and gaming
The Union Budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Wednesday, brings many incentives meant to promote startups and AI learning in India.
The budget, which primarily focused on extending income tax benefits to newly established businesses through March 2024, also included a proposal to extend the benefit of carrying forward losses for new businesses for an additional 10 years.
“I propose to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to startups from March 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024. I further propose to provide the benefit of carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of startups from seven years of incorporation to ten years,” Sitharaman announced.
For online games that have now become a major part of revenue for digital startups, the government wants to make TDS and taxation of net wins available at the time of withdrawal or at the end of the fiscal year.
In addition, 100 labs in engineering colleges will be set up for the development of applications using 5G services, along with three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence in major educational institutions.“Three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions. Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, developing cutting edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, sustainable cities,” the finance minister said in her budget speech in Lok Sabha.
In order to create applications employing 5G services, she stated that a total of 100 labs will be set up in engineering universities in partnership with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other businesses.
“To realise the new range of opportunities, business models and employment potential, the labs will cover, among others, applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications,” she said.
A national digital library for children and teenagers will be established to provide access to high-quality books across geographies, languages, and genres in order to address learning loss experienced during the pandemic years. Through the use of innovative pedagogy, curriculum change, continuous professional development dipstick survey, and ICT deployment, teacher training will be reimagined.