Ministry of Commerce & Industry
To promote startups across all the State/UTs, Government of India has launched Startup India initiative in 2016. This initiative aims at building a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and Startups in the country. In order to meet the objectives of the initiative, Government has launched various programmes to promote Startups across the country are as below:
- Startup India Action Plan: An Action Plan for Startup India was unveiled on 16th January 2016. The Action Plan comprises of 19 action items spanning across areas such as “Simplification and handholding”, “Funding support and incentives” and “Industry-academia partnership and incubation”. The Action Plan laid the foundation of Government support, schemes and incentives envisaged to create a vibrant startup ecosystem in the country.
- Startup India: The Way Ahead: Startup India: The Way Ahead at 5 years celebration of Startup India was unveiled on 16th January 2021 which includes actionable plans for promotion of ease of doing business for startups, greater role of technology in executing various reforms, building capacities of stakeholders and enabling a digital Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
- Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS): Easy availability of capital is essential for entrepreneurs at the early stages of growth of an enterprise. The capital required at this stage often presents a make or break situation for startups with good business ideas. The Scheme aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization. Rs. 945 crore has been sanctioned under the SISFS Scheme for period of 4 years starting from 2021-22. It will support an estimated 3,600 entrepreneurs through 300 incubators in the next 4 years.
- Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme: The Government has established FFS with corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore, to meet the funding needs of startups. DPIIT is the monitoring agency and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the operating agency for FFS. The total corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore is envisaged to be provided over the 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles based on progress of the scheme and availability of funds. It has not only made capital available for startups at early stage, seed stage and growth stage but also played a catalytic role in terms of facilitating raising of domestic capital, reducing dependence on foreign capital and encouraging home grown and new venture capital funds.
- Ease of Procurement: To enable ease of procurement, Central Ministries/ Departments are directed to relax conditions of prior turnover and prior experience in public procurement for all Startups subject to meeting quality and technical specifications. Further, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) Startup Runway; a dedicated corner for startups to sell products & services directly to the Government.
- Self-Certification under Labour and Environmental laws: Startups are allowed to self-certify their compliance under 6 Labour and 3 Environment laws for a period of 3 to 5 years from the date of incorporation.
- Income Tax Exemption for 3 years: Startups incorporated on or after 1st April 2016 can apply for income tax exemption. The recognised startups that are granted an Inter-Ministerial Board Certificate are exempted from income-tax for a period of 3 consecutive years out of 10 years since incorporation.
- Exemption for the Purpose Of Clause (VII)(b) of Sub-section (2) of Section 56 of the Act: A DPIIT recognized startup is eligible for exemption from the provisions of section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act.
- Startup India Hub: The Government launched a Startup India Online Hub on 19th June 2017 which is one of its kind online platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to discover, connect and engage with each other. The Online Hub hosts Startups, Investors, Funds, Mentors, Academic Institutions, Incubators, Accelerators, Corporates, Government Bodies and more.
- National Startup Awards: National Startup Awards is an initiative to recognize and reward outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact.
- International Access to Indian Startups: One of the key objectives under the Startup India initiative is to help connect Indian startup ecosystem to global startup ecosystems through various engagement models. This has been done though international Government to Government partnerships, participation in international forums and hosting of global events. Startup India has launched bridges with over 11 countries (Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Portugal, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Singapore, Israel, Japan, South Korea) that provides a soft-landing platform for startups from the partner nations and aid in promoting cross collaboration.
- Support for Intellectual Property Protection: Startups are eligible for fast-tracked patent application examination and disposal. The Government launched Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) which facilitates the startups to file applications for patents, designs and trademarks through registered facilitators in appropriate IP offices by paying only the statutory fees. Facilitators under this Scheme are responsible for providing general advisory on different IPRs, and information on protecting and promoting IPRs in other countries. The Government bears the entire fees of the facilitators for any number of patents, trademark or designs, and startups only bear the cost of the statutory fees payable. Startups are provided with an 80% rebate in filing of patents and 50% rebate in filling of trademark vis-a-vis other companies.
- Faster Exit for Startups: Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified Startups as ‘fast track firms’ enabling them to wind up operations within 90 days vis-a-vis 180 days for other companies.
The Government of India as part of Startup India initiative has implemented Fund of Funds for Startups Scheme and Startup India Seed Fund Scheme to provide financial assistance through Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and incubators.
Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme: A corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore has been sanctioned under the FFS Scheme, spread over 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles. FFS Scheme does not directly provide financial assistance to startups, instead supports SEBI-registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), who in turn invest money in growing Indian startups through equity and equity-linked instruments. AIFs supported under FFS are required to invest at least two times of the amount committed under FFS in startups
Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS): Rs. 945 crore has been sanctioned under the SISF Scheme for period of 4 years starting from 2021-22. 40% of total approved commitment is released as part of first installment to a selected incubator. Subsequent installments are released based on submission of proof of achievement of milestones.
Promoting women entrepreneurship has been a key national agenda for the Government. Out of the 58,000+ DPIIT recognised startups, 46% of them have at-least one-woman director. Further, under Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), as on 06th December, 2021, 55 women-led startups have been sanctioned financial assistance.
Furthermore, under Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme, as on 6th December, 2021, for 83 women led Startups, Rs. 1046.05 crore has been invested by the AIFs supported under the FFS Scheme.
This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Shri SomParkash, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
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