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Start-ups are the next big economic force in India: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Start-ups are the next big economic force in India, the world’s youngest startup nation with 72 per cent founders below 35 years of age, Commerce and Industry Minister said.

Start-ups are the next big economic force in India: Nirmala Sitharaman
Close to 4,400 technology startups exist in India and the number is expected to reach over 12,000 by 2020

“Start-ups are the next big economic force in India. Close to 4,400 technology startups exist in India and the number is expected to reach over 12,000 by 2020. India is the world’s youngest start-up nation with 72 per cent founders less than 35 years,” Sitharaman was quoted as saying by IANS at the Start-up India states’ conference.

According to a IANS report: India has been pegged at third place behind US and Britain in terms of the number of start-ups.

“Government is committed to make Start-up India initiative a scalable reality and to provide an environment for our start-ups to thrive in. Through the initiative, we want to ensure that the momentum is accelerated. We are determined to make it a start-up revolution,” she was quoted by IANS as saying.

“The government will facilitate to ensure that world’s best start-up ecosystem is in India,” she was further quoted by IANS as saying.

The government has operationalised the Start-up India Hub on April 1, 2016 to resolve queries and to provide hand-holding support to start-ups.

The hub has catered to more than 13,500 queries received from start-ups through telephone, email and Twitter.

The Finance Act, 2016 has made provision for start-ups to get income tax exemption for 3 years in a block of 5 years, if they are incorporated between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019.

Tax exemption on investments above fair market value have also been introduced for investments made in start-ups. To avail these benefits one must get a certificate of eligibility from the inter-ministerial board of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

A ‘fund of funds’ of Rs 10,000 crores for start-ups has been established which is managed by (SIDBI). The fund will invest in SEBI registered alternative investment funds (AIFs) which, in turn, will invest in start-ups.

“This fund acts as an enabler to attract private capital in the form of equity, quasi-equity, soft loans and other risk capital for start-ups,” Sitharaman was quoted by IANS as saying.

Earlier, a budding entrepreneur had to go through an elaborate process of approaching an inter-ministerial board to procure the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) benefits.

“A start-up would now require only a certificate of recognition from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and would not be required to be examined by the inter-ministerial board, as was being done earlier. This is one rapid change that we have brought in,” she was quoted by PTI as saying at the ‘Start-up India States’ Conference’.

According to a PTI report: Under the ‘Start-up India’ action plan, the government has announced three-year tax holiday and other benefits to these entrepreneurs.

She also said that the ministry has lined up a series of meetings with different stakeholders, including investors to resolve start-up issues. She will also meet investors, industry and journalists soon.

The Minister also said that seven proposals for research parks, 16 for TBIs (Technology Business Incubators) and 13 proposals for Start-up Centres have been recommended by the National Expert Advisory Committee formed by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

“These proposals will be implemented in the current financial year itself,” she was quoted by PTI as saying.