As the government looks to provide more benefits to the Indian startup ecosystem, the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) added over 1000 startups in February 2020.
In response to a question in Lok Sabha, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday (March 4), said that the DPIIT has recognised 29,017 startups till February 26, 2020, an increase of 1101 startups since February 1, 2020.
Launched in 2016, the Startup India programme has fuelled the country’s startup ecosystem. Under Startup India, the government has also set up an INR 10K Cr Funds Of Funds (FOF) to invest in startups. Out of this corpus, which is currently managed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the government has committed INR 3123.20 Cr to 47 SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), Goyal said.
The commerce minister further revealed that these AIFs have raised a corpus fund of INR 25,728 Cr and have invested a total of INR 3,378.47 Cr into 320 startups. Out of this investment, INR 912.91 crore has been drawn from the fund of funds, Goyal added. He also noted that FOF doesn’t invest directly into startups but provides capital to these AIFs which invests in startups through equity and equity-linked instruments. “As the startups are shortlisted by AIFs, there is no direct fund allocation from DPIIT to States or union territories under Startup India initiative,” Goyal added.
In April 2016, the government had launched an online platform and a mobile application for digitising the Startup India programme. Goyal said that so far 3.8 Lakh users are registered on Startup India’s online platform. He also claimed that the platform has got over 7 Mn views till now.
Tax Breaks For DPIIT-Recognised Startups
Further, to bolster the development of early-stage startups in India and provide them with a competitive platform, the government had exempted DPIIT-recognised from income tax for a period of three years since incorporation under Section 80IAC of the Income Tax Act. To avail these benefits, a startup must get a certificate of eligibility from the Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB). Goyal said that so far, 264 startups have been granted income tax exemptions.
Under the Startup India scheme, the government is also offering an 80% rebate on patent filing fees to startups. Goyal revealed that so far 2,785 patent applications have been granted 80% rebate on the filing fee. Moreover, 5,494 trademark applications have been granted a 50% rebate on the filing fee.