Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on on Tuesday announced that the government will bring a battery swapping policy to boost use of electric vehicles in the country in view of space constraints for setting up charging stations.
“Considering the constraint space in urban areas for setting up (electric vehicles) charging stations, a battery swapping policy will be brought out and interoperability standards will be formulated,” Sitharaman said in her Budget speech in the Lok Sabha.
She stated that the private sector will be encouraged to set up sustainable business models for battery or energy service and this will improve efficiency in EV (electric vehicle) ecosystem.
“We will promote a shift to use public transport in urban areas. This will be complemented by clean tech and governance solutions, special mobility zones with zero fossil fuel policy and EV vehicles,” she stated.
The policy will facilitate faster rollout of battery swapping centres where EV owners would be able to refuel their EV by replacing exhausted batteries with charged ones.
This will also save time taken in charging the embedded batteries in EVs. At present, a few such options are available in the country and EV owners have to spend hours for charging their vehicles at charging stations especially in cities.
Moreover, there is space constrain for setting up new charging stations in urban areas also.
Among other announcements made during the Union Budget session, a cryptocurrency tax of 30 percent was also introduced. “There has been a phenomenal increase in transactions in virtual digital assets. The magnitude and frequency of these transactions are made it imperative to provide for a specified tax regime accordingly, for the taxation of virtual digital assets, I propose to provide that any income from transfer of any virtual digital asset shall be taxed at the rate of 30 percent,” said Sitharaman.
“No deduction in respect of any expenditure or elements shall be allowed while computing such income except the cost of acquisition for loss from the transfer of virtual digital assets cannot be set off against any other income,” she added.
Sitharaman announced that India will get its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) this year, which will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Sitharaman also said that e-passports with embedded chip and futuristic technology will be rolled out in 2022-23 to help citizens in their overseas travel.
Additionally, a Drone Shakti initiative was also announced. It will help commercialise the use of drones in different industries and will be promoted with the help of startups.