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India President Ram Nath Kovind On Startups, Space Tech And More

India President Ram Nath Kovind On Startups, Space Tech And More

Government aims to establish 50K startups in the country by 2024, the president said

Will introduce scheme for entrepreneurs to avail unsecured loans up to INR 50 Lakh

Kovind said govt looking to maximise the use of space technology to promote human welfare

Addressing the joint sitting of both parliamentary houses yesterday (June 20), India President Ram Nath Kovind said that the government has set a goal of having 50K startups operating in India by 2024.

To realise this goal, the India president also shared a slew of objectives including the introduction of a new facility for entrepreneurs to avail loans up to INR 50 Lakh without any guarantee, expansion of the existing Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna to cover 30 Cr Indians, and the promise of generating new employment opportunities.

Further, he said that India has joined the league of countries with the most number of startups in the world. This achievement can be attributed to the government’s efforts towards simplifying the rules, he added.

Kovind also noted that the country’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business index has leap-frogged 65 positions during the past five years, from a ranking of 142 in 2014 to the current 77th position. “We want to India to be among the top 50 countries of the world and to achieve this, process of simplification of rules will be further expedited in collaboration with the States. Also, the necessary amendments are also being brought in the companies law.”

Kovind also noted the contribution of space technology in improving the lives of the common man, providing early-warning of impending disasters, identifying the location of natural resources, providing signals to various means of communication and ensuring national security. “It is the endeavour of my government to maximise the use of space technology for human welfare. Several facilities such as roads, houses for poor, farming or equipment for fishermen have all been linked to space technology,” he said.

He made special mention of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s recent announcement of Mission Gaganyaan, which has sought to set up India’s own space station and the upcoming Mission Chandrayaan 2 which will be India’s first manned space mission.

All-Round Effort To Boost The Startup Ecosystem

Developing and promoting startups has been one of the primary objectives of the Indian government over the past five years. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) secretary, Ramesh Abhishek had earlier said that 541 startups have been granted angel tax exemption, which has been one of the growth obstacles for Indian startups.

DPIIT had also widened the definition of startups from the earlier definition under ‘Startup India, Standup India’ scheme to simplify the process for startups to get exemptions on investments from angel tax.  

The DPIIT had also announced plans to expand its operations to district level where several business constantly need licenses, NOCs, and renewals — to map the ease of doing business metric to the grassroots.

In addition to this, DPIIT has also been looking to achieve gender inclusiveness in the Indian startup ecosystem. It had proposed allocating separate funds for startups led by women, along with the stipulation that at least one-third of the beneficiaries of all Startup India programmes organised by DPIIT should be women.

In April, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had proposed setting up ‘India Startup Fund’ with a corpus of INR 1,000 Cr to support high technology startups. Also, the government proposed a corpus of INR 1,000 Cr as part of incentives under the vision document ‘Startup India Vision 2024.