In India entrepreneurship is no longer being looked down in the guise of a frugal or flexible innovation and the government will take steps to make capital easily available and ease rules to enable startups to flourish, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said.
The government aims to bring a bankruptcy law to improve the ease of doing business in the country, Sitharaman said at the inaugural session of Start- up India programme.
The Centre will give priority to programmes likes Start Up Mission to generate more employment and engage with entrepreneurs to remove all the burdensome regulations.
The government had introduced the Bankruptcy Bill in Parliament in the recently concluded winter session but could not ensure its passage.
A simple and effective corporate insolvency law is important for expediting the winding up of a company, selling its assets and also for revival of sick companies.
Easier entry and exit norms are important from the point of view of a startup, too, as there is a likelihood of a good number of them failing. Investors have often criticised the delays involved in the insolvency proceedings in India and the consequent fall in the company’s asset value.
The number of people looking to start their own ventures have gone up while those seeking government employment have done down, Ms. Sitharaman said. .
The government has set up a ‘fund-of-funds’ to help startups and it will not impose any conditions for startups but only act as a facilitator, she said. The government had in August last year set up an India Aspiration Fund as a fund-of-funds to increase the capital availability for startups.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary, Amitabh Kant, said employment generation was the government’s top-most priority. He said the Start-Up Mission was an important step in this direction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Silicon Valley in the U.S. last year, to interact with the entrepreneurs there, had paid off as it had created several links between Indian and American entrepreneurs, he said.
Pointing out that one million people enter the labour force in India every month, World Bank Country Director for India, Onno Ruhl, said the challenge was to create jobs for them. The World Bank was keen to work with the government in ensuring the Start-Up Mission was a success.
However, it was important to make sure that the country grows through innovation in the area of frugal engineering using less energy, less water and keeping the air clean.
Deep Kalra, founder of the online travel company MakeMyTrip, said with changing times, people now have respect for startups and entrepreneurs and the value they create.