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Modi's extends tax sops, funding, self-certification for start-ups

Modis extends tax sops, funding, self-certification for start-ups

New Delhi: With an income tax holiday for three years and exemption from capital gains levies on venture capital investments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the "Start-Up India Action Plan" here on Saturday with an enabling eco-system to promote and nurse entrepreneurship.

A host of incentives unveiled by him for start-ups also included self-certification and a three-year exemption from inspections, an online portal and mobile app, an 80-percent cut in the patent application fee and a single-point hub for hand-holding.

At an event at Vigyan Bhavan conference complex here to launch the "Start-Up India Action Plan", the prime minister also announced a Rs.10,000-crore fund for new enterprises, equal opportunity in government procurement, a Rs.500-crore credit guarantee scheme and easier exit norms.

The list of incentives also included 35 new incubators under the public-private partnership mode, 31 new innovation centres at national institutes, seven new research parks, five bio-clusters and a mission with sector-specific incubators, labs, pre-incubation training and seed money.

"We want to ensure that we interfere as little as possible with the start-ups. For that, we have introduced self-certification. No inspection for three years," the prime minister told the event to repeated applause from Who's Who of India's start-up and Silicon Valley ecosystems.

He also said his government intended to club all related legislation involving start-ups and took a dig at the opposition in this regard. "You all know, where it is stuck. You must must use the internet and tell them so that important matters can be cleared in parliament."

The prime minister also said the difference that people will find today with governance in India was that on a Saturday, when it is an official day off, with no question of any activity after 6 p.m., such a grand event as today's was taking place.

The prime minister said he wanted the youth today to transform themselves from job seekers to job givers. "I see that energy in this hall. It reflects the enthusiasm that lies in the hearts of our youth across the country," he said, adding he wanted start-ups to also look beyond IT.

During the day-long event, several interactive sessions were held with stakeholders, ministers and mandarins on topics ranging from innovation and funding to promoting women entrepreneurs and mentoring.

"Today, it's been a fascinating experience," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his address, referring to the day-long interactions. "Not only does it mark a change in the social profile of India, but a change in the mindsets of Indians," Jaitley added.

He also said the government will ensure that it will only be a facilitator for start-ups. "Our only subsequent relation with start-ups will be when they pay their taxes in the year-end and continue to grow."

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also spoke on similar lines and said discussions were evocative on what start-ups can do for India, if alone the government can understand them.

"Start-ups have spoken loud and clear, and we have heard the message."

Those who spoke at the final session included SoftBank's Masayoshi Son, GreyOrange's Samay Kohli, LimeRoad's Suchi Mukherjee, InMobi's Naveen Tewari, Ocimum's Anuradha Acharya, Practo's Shashank N.D., WeWork's Adam Neumann, PaperBoat's Neeraj Kakkar and Oyo's Ritesh Agarwal.

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