Union Budget 2018 perfectly blends reforms and populism with a keen eye on fiscal discipline. FM Arun Jaitley makes a strong push for digitisation, infrastructure development and better quality of education. The move to integrate technology into education is a step in the right direction. The government’s initiative to provide 5 lakh WiFi hotspots in rural areas will allow more grassroot level internet-run businesses to come up. Investment in new areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotic will augment the Indian IT industry and prepare the country for the future. Measures announced for Small and Medium Enterprises will help budding enterprises and help them contribute to the growth in consumer-oriented sectors. Also, the initiative to increase loans to women self-help groups by 37% is welcome. However, there is a lot more that remains to be done to improve the state of women entrepreneurship in the country – like extended tax holidays so women are motivated to look beyond mere jobs and become entrepreneurs, leading to growth of the economy.
– RUBY SINHA