As part of the Government’s concerted bid to improve ease of doing business, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced that a start-up would from now need only a certificate of recognition from the Government to avail of IPR-related benefits. Earlier, a budding entrepreneur had to go through an elaborate process of approaching an inter-ministerial board to procure the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) benefits.
“A start-up would now require only a certificate of recognition from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and would not be required to be examined by the inter-ministerial board, as was being done earlier. This is one rapid change that we have brought in,” Sitharaman said at the ‘Start-up India States’ Conference’ here.
Under the ‘Start-up India’ action plan, the Government has announced a three-year tax holiday and other benefits for these entrepreneurs. Sitharaman also said that the ministry has lined up a series of meetings with different stakeholders, including investors to resolve start-up issues.
Commenting on views of some critics on Government interference in implementing the action plan for start-ups, particularly on extending tax holidays, she said that the Government is committed to facilitate young entrepreneurs.
“...many questions are being raised about ‘minimum government and maximum governance’. I want to ensure that the government is only facilitating you,” she said. However, she said, “As and when money has to be spent, it will have to be looked into. All of us are duty-bound to be accountable and transparent...Accountability and transparency warrant that if tax breaks have to be given, in cases when the government defers, postpones or foregoes, we have to have some kind of accountability system. Therefore, there has to be an inter-ministerial board.”
The minister also said that seven proposals for research parks, 16 for Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) and 13 proposals for Start-up Centres have been recommended by the National Expert Advisory Committee formed by the Human Resource Development Ministry. “These proposals will be implemented in the current financial year itself,” she added.
To obtain tax and IPR related benefits, a start-up would have to to be certified as an eligible business from the inter-ministerial board of certification. The board consists of a DIPP joint secretary, representatives of the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology.
India is ranked third in the world, behind the USA and the UK, in terms of number of start-ups. Close to 4,400 technology start-ups exist in India and the number is expected to cross 12,000 by 2020, driven by a young and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem, she said.
On the rate of success of start-ups, she said: “World-over, the success rate is not very high. But that is the nature of the business. Rate of success is beyond the government. What the government, however, can do is to give a chance to every idea to reach some stage and give facilitation and tax breaks.”