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Salient features of Start up India programme

On the occasion of 69th Independence day Prime minister Mr. Modi announced start up India initiative.Salient features of the scheme are.

  1. Compliance Regime based on Self-Certification: For ease of doing business startups will be allowed to self certify compliance with 9 labour and environmental laws.Following are the laws they will be able to self certify

Labour Laws: •

• The Building and Other Constructions Workers’ (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996

• The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979

• The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

• The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970

• The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

• The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 Environment Laws:

• The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

• The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003

• The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

2) Start up India hub:

The “Startup India Hub” will be a key stakeholder in this vibrant ecosystem and will:

• Work in a hub and spoke model and collaborate with Central & State governments, Indian and foreign VCs, angel networks, banks, incubators, legal partners, consultants, universities and R&D institutions

• Assist Startups through their lifecycle with specific focus on important aspects like obtaining financing, feasibility testing, business structuring advisory, enhancement of marketing skills, technology commercialization and management evaluation

• Organize mentorship programs in collaboration with government organizations, incubation centers, educational institutions and private organizations who aspire to foster innovation.

To all young Indians who have the courage to enter an environment of risk, the Startup India Hub will be their friend, mentor and guide to hold their hand and walk with them through this journey.

3) Rolling-out of Mobile App and Portal:

Towards these efforts, the Government shall introduce a Mobile App to provide on-the-go accessibility for: • Registering Startups with relevant agencies of the Government. A simple form shall be made available for the same. The Mobile App shall have backend integration with Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Registrar of Firms for seamless information exchange and processing of the registration application

• Tracking the status of the registration application and anytime downloading of the registration certificate. A digital version of the final registration certificate shall be made available for downloading through the Mobile App

• Filing for compliances and obtaining information on various clearances/ approvals/ registrations required • Collaborating with various Startup ecosystem partners. The App shall provide a collaborative platform with a national network of stakeholders (including venture funds, incubators, academia, mentors etc.) of the Startup ecosystem to have discussions towards enhancing and bolstering the ecosystem

• Applying for various schemes being undertaken under the Startup India Action Plan The App shall be made available from April 01, 2016 on all leading mobile/ smart devices’ platforms.

The Startup portal shall have similar functionalities (being offered through the mobile app) using a richer web-based User Interface.

4) Legal Support and Fast-tracking Patent Examination at Lower Costs:

The scheme for Startup Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) shall facilitate filing of Patents, Trademarks and Designs by innovative Startups. Various measures being taken in this regard include:

• Fast-tracking of Startup patent applications: The valuation of any innovation goes up immensely, once it gets the protective cover of a patent. To this end, the patent application of Startups shall be fast-tracked for examination and disposal, so that they can realize the value of their IPRs at the earliest possible.

• Panel of facilitators to assist in filing of IP applications: For effective implementation of the scheme, a panel of “facilitators” shall be empanelled by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), who shall also regulate their conduct and functions. Facilitators will be responsible for providing general advisory on different IPRs as also information on protecting and promoting IPRs in other countries. They shall also provide assistance in filing and disposal of the IP applications related to patents, trademarks and designs under relevant Acts, including appearing on behalf of Startups at hearings and contesting opposition, if any, by other parties, till final disposal of the IPR application.

• Government to bear facilitation cost: Under this scheme, the Central Government shall bear the entire fees of the facilitators for any number of patents, trademarks or designs that a Startup may file, and the Startups shall bear the cost of only the statutory fees payable.

• Rebate on filing of application: Startups shall be provided an 80% rebate in filing of patents vis-a-vis other companies. This will help them pare costs in the crucial formative years.

The scheme is being launched initially on a pilot basis for 1 year; based on the experience gained, further steps shall be taken.

5) Relaxed Norms of Public Procurement for Startups:

In order to promote Startups, Government shall exempt Startups (in the manufacturing sector) from the criteria of “prior experience/ turnover” without any relaxation in quality standards or technical parameters. The Startups will also have to demonstrate requisite capability to execute the project as per the requirements and should have their own manufacturing facility in India.

6) Faster Exit for Startups:

In terms of the IBB, Startups with simple debt structures or those meeting such criteria as may be specified may be wound up within a period of 90 days from making of an application for winding up on a fast track basis. In such instances, an insolvency professional shall be appointed for the Startup, who shall be in charge of the company (the promoters and management shall no longer run the company) for liquidating its assets and paying its creditors within six months of such appointment. On appointment of the insolvency professional, the liquidator shall be responsible for the swift closure of the business, sale of assets and repayment of creditors in accordance with the distribution waterfall set out in the IBB. This process will respect the concept of limited liability.

7) Providing Funding Support through a Fund of Funds with a Corpus of INR 10,000 crore:

Key features of the Fund of Funds are highlighted below:

• The Fund of Funds shall be managed by a Board with private professionals drawn from industry bodies, academia, and successful Startups

• Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) shall be a co-investor in the Fund of Funds

• The Fund of Funds shall contribute to a maximum of 50% of the stated daughter fund size. In order to be able to receive the contribution, the daughter fund should have already raised the balance 50% or more of the stated fund size as the case maybe. The Fund of Funds shall have representation on the governance structure/ board of the venture fund based on the contribution made.

• The Fund shall ensure support to a broad mix of sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, health, education, etc.

8) Credit Guarantee Fund for Startups:

In order to overcome traditional Indian stigma associated with failure of Startup enterprises in general and to encourage experimentation among Startup entrepreneurs through disruptive business models, credit guarantee comfort would help flow of Venture Debt from the formal Banking System. Debt funding to Startups is also perceived as high risk area and to encourage Banks and other Lenders to provide Venture Debts to Startups, Credit guarantee mechanism through National Credit Guarantee Trust Company (NCGTC)/ SIDBI is being envisaged with a budgetary Corpus of INR 500 crore per year for the next four years.

9) Tax Exemption on Capital Gains:

Due to their high risk nature, Startups are not able to attract investment in their initial stage. It is therefore important that suitable incentives are provided to investors for investing in the Startup ecosystem. With this objective, exemption shall be given to persons who have capital gains during the year, if they have invested such capital gains in the Fund of Funds recognized by the Government. This will augment the funds available to various VCs/AIFs for investment in Startups. In addition, existing capital gain tax exemption for investment in newly formed manufacturing MSMEs by individuals shall be extended to all Startups. Currently, such an entity needs to purchase “new assests” with the capital gain received to avail such an exemption. Investment in ‘computer or computer software’ (as used in core business activity) shall also be considered as purchase of ‘new assets’ in order to promote technology driven Startups.

10) Tax Exemption to Startups for 3 years:

Innovation is the essence of every Startup. Young minds kindle new ideas every day to think beyond conventional strategies of the existing corporate world. During the initial years, budding entrepreneurs struggle to evaluate the feasibility of their business idea. Significant capital investment is made in embracing ever-changing technology, fighting rising competition and navigating through the unique challenges arising from their venture. Also, there are limited alternative sources of finance available to the small and growing entrepreneurs, leading to constrained cash funds. With a view to stimulate the development of Startups in India and provide them a competitive platform, it is imperative that the profits of Startup initiatives are exempted from income-tax for a period of 3 years. This fiscal exemption shall facilitate growth of business and meet the working capital requirements during the initial years of operations. The exemption shall be available subject to non-distribution of dividend by the Startup

11) Tax Exemption on Investments above Fair Market Value:

Under The Income Tax Act, 1961, where a Startup (company) receives any consideration for issue of shares which exceeds the Fair Market Value (FMV) of such shares, such excess consideration is taxable in the hands of recipient as Income from Other Sources. In the context of Startups, where the idea is at a conceptualization or development stage, it is often difficult to determine the FMV of such shares. In majority of the cases, FMV is also significantly lower than the value at which the capital investment is made. This results into the tax being levied under section 56(2) (viib). Currently, investment by venture capital funds in Startups is exempted from operations of this provision. The same shall be extended to investment made by incubators in the Startups.

12) Organizing Startup Fests for Showcasing Innovation and Providing a Collaboration Platform:

A pivotal component for growth of Startups is regular communication and collaboration within the Startup community, both national as well international. An effective Startup ecosystem can’t be created by the Startups alone. It is dependent on active participation of academia, investors, industry and other stakeholders.

To bolster the Startup ecosystem in India, the Government is proposing to introduce Startup fests at national and international stages. These fests would provide a platform to Startups in India to showcase their ideas and work with a larger audience comprising of potential investors, mentors and fellow Startups. As part of “Make in India” initiative, Government proposes to:

• Hold one fest at the national level annually to enable all the stakeholders of Startup ecosystem to come together on one platform.

• Hold one fest at the international level annually in an international city known for its Startup ecosystem.

13) Launch of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) with Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) Program:

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) shall have two core functions:

• Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU), wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs

• Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated The main components proposed to be undertaken as part of the mission include: Entrepreneurship promotion:

• Establishment of sector specific Incubators including in PPP mode (refer #14 of this Action Plan)

• Establishment of 500 Tinkering Labs

• Pre-incubation training to potential entrepreneurs in various technology areas in collaboration with various academic institutions having expertise in the field

• Strengthening of incubation facilities in existing incubators and mentoring of Startups

• Seed funding to potentially successful and high growth Startups Innovation promotion:

• Institution of Innovation Awards (3 per state/UT) and 3 National level awards

• Providing support to State Innovation Councils for awareness creation and organizing state level workshops/conferences

• Launch of Grand Innovation Challenge Awards for finding ultra-low cost solutions to India’s pressing and intractable problems

14) Harnessing Private Sector Expertise for Incubator Setup:

India currently lacks availability of incubation facilities across various parts of the country. Incubation facilities typically include physical infrastructure, provision of mentorship support, access to networks, access to market, etc. Of all these features, physical infrastructure entails large capital investments which can generally be facilitated by the Government. However, requisite skills for operating an incubator are pivotal as well, for which expertise of the private sector needs to be leveraged. Considering this, Government shall encourage setting up of;

• 35 new incubators in existing institutions. Funding support of 40% (subject to a maximum of INR 10 crore) shall be provided by Central Government for establishment of new incubators for which 40% funding by the respective State Government and 20% funding by the private sector has been committed. The incubator shall be managed and operated by the private sector.

• 35 new private sector incubators. A grant of 50% (subject to a maximum of INR 10 crore) shall be provided by Central Government for incubators established by private sector in existing institutions. The incubator shall be managed and operated by the private sector.

15) Building Innovation Centres at National Institutes:

Details In order to augment the incubation and R&D efforts in the country, the Government will set up/ scale up 31 centres (to provide facilities for over 1,200 new Startups) of innovation and entrepreneurship at national institutes, including:

• Setting-up 13 Startup centres: Annual funding support of INR 50 lakhs (shared 50:50 by DST and MHRD) shall be provided for three years for encouraging student driven Startups from the host institute.

• Setting-up/ Scaling-up 18 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) at NITs/IITs/IIMs etc. as per funding model of DST with MHRD providing smooth approvals for TBI to have separate society and built up space.

 

 

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Profile photo of CA Shafaly Girdharwal CA Shafaly Girdharwal

CA

New Delhi, India

CA Shaifaly Girdharwal is a GST consultant, Author, Trainer and a famous You tuber. She has taken many seminars on various topics of GST. She is Partner at Ashu Dalmia & Associates and heading the Indirect Tax department. She has authored a book on GST published by Taxmann.

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