The Union budget presented by the Finance Minister highlighted a vision of a brighter and more digitally advanced country. The budget laid down a robust path to fast-track India towards equality, entrepreneurial drive, and economic upliftment – with an aspiration of a sharp growth in the Indian economy at 9.2 per cent. Meanwhile in this budget, drones have proven to be one of the most promising technologies that got the government’s attention.
The Drone Shakti scheme, along with the Rs. 120-crore Product Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme for drone and drone components, would help increase domestic manufacturing and generate employment. That said, drone makers and service providers have already been ramping up their product offerings and hiring to meet a spurt in demand that is envisioned to accelerate in line with the government’s PLI scheme, planning to further bring down drone prices.
“Start-ups will be promoted to facilitate ‘Drone Shakti’ through varied applications and for Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS),” Sitharaman said in her speech. The courses required for drone skills will be started in select Industrial Training Institutes in various states, she mentioned in her budget speech.
With the advent of DaaS, the government department can now rent drones instead of purchasing, allowing them (government departments) to become asset-light and take advantage of the best available capability and latest technology in the market – a win-win situation for both parties.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Union Budget, Ankit Mehta, Co-Founder & CEO, ideaForge said, “Drones were considered a nice-to-have sector two years ago, but in the aftermath of the pandemic, they have become a must-have. Recognizing its significance, the government has made efforts and relaxed drone policies to promote drones as a service. This budget will benefit sunrise sectors such as drones by bringing them to the forefront, increasing adoption, and accelerating India’s growth.”
The fundamental aim is to generate a supplier ecosystem for the industry in India. That said, India’s farming sector got a hi-tech sauce in the budget with the introduction of the drones. The government, through drones, would be undertaking crop assessment, ground-tapping, spraying of pesticides, etc. This suggests how the government is improving the lives of people with the help of technology.
The budget’s focus on drones comes in the backdrop of the government’s efforts to make India a drone hub, by 2030.