New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved an umbrella programme Digital India comprising various projects worth about Rs 1 lakh crore to transform the country into a digitally empowered knowledge economy.
The programme includes projects that aim to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically and people get benefit of the latest information and communication technology.
“This is a follow up to the key decisions taken on the design of the programme during the meeting of the Prime Minister on Digital India Programme on August 7, 2014, and to sensitise all ministries to this vast programme touching every corner of the government,” Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after a Cabinet meeting.
The programme will be implemented in phases from the current year till 2018. The government also gave nod to increasing royalty rates on minerals including iron ore and bauxite, a long-awaited move that will significantly swell the annual revenue of states.
“Cabinet in-principle approved revision of mineral royalty. There are 55 such items but this excludes coal, lignite and sand for stowing,” communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the Cabinet meeting.
“We are satisfied that revision has been done. It has not been revised for a long time,” he said, without disclosing the impact of the move in financial terms. As per some estimates, annual revenue collection of mineral-bearing states could swell over 40 per cent to around Rs 15,000 crore.