Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, spoke at length about the impact and potential use of technology in a thriving country like ours, in a session called India - Technology and Governance, the Indian Experience at the India Today Conclave Next 2017.
Reiterating the importance of technology, the minister said that it was the need of the hour. He also added that technology was of utmost importance and needs to be taken to every sector. He added that land records need to go online as well. In fact, all land deed and documents need to be uploaded online.
Arun Jaitley says that using more technology could reduce harassment and play a powerful role in governance. "Tech as a tool in governance has a powerful role," Mr. Jaitley said.
Talking about funds, the Finance Minister said that there is demand for money but it is all lying unused in the pipeline. Technology would help the government trace that money and to decide is that money is required. "So, tech helps us detect all pilferage just by sitting in New Delhi," he commented.
He even mentioned how technology is helping post-demonetisation. "Tech has distinguished who the people are who have disproportionate wealth as compared to their returns. It is now easy to track shell firms for media as well. So for good governance, rather than relying on anecdotal evidence, data gives more insight," he mentioned.
After a year of demonetisation, the minister talked about how note ban revolutionised the way Indians use their money. "Earlier, it was not possible to buy property without some cash. Way of life was not to pay taxes. So, do we want to allow this happen? It will surely help in tax collection. The number of tax filling people is going up. Earlier it was only credit, debit or BHIM apps, but we nudged a process for greater tax compliance. Now more money is coming into the stock market and insurance firms," he further added.
The minister also spoke about Aadhar in the session and acknowledged that it was conceived by the UPA. He further said that the UPA government had no idea what to do with it and there were a lot of difference in opinions regarding the implementation. "We thought it was a wonderful idea, and that Aadhar should be linked with all government schemes. At that time, there was a great debate about subsidies, petroleum or food. So, we worked to connect all people through that idea and ended up linking three factors - people, Aadhar and mobile."
India Today Conclave Next 2017 is a day-long exhaustive technology thought leadership forum. The Finance Minister was speaking just a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of the demonetisation announcement. You can follow the live updates here .