It was a pleasant surprise that Indian finance minister, for the first time, is talking about words like startups, incubators and accelerators thus we can say – Budget 2014 New Thesaurus for Entrepreneurs.
A nationwide ‘District level Incubation and Accelerator Program’ would be taken up for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support for accelerating entrepreneurship. Such accelerator programs will allow our promising start-ups to scale fast, secure early funding, and grow to excel on the global stage.
Another interesting thing which he referred to was setting up of venture capital fund of Rs. 10,000 crore for startup firms to act as a catalyst to attract private capital by way of providing equity, soft loans and other risk capital for startup companies. Also, the assurance on retrospective taxation will help improve the investment confidence.
The FM has to earn the creditability of this position as in past budgets a Rs.5000 crore "Indian Opportunity Fund" and another Rs.5000 crore "India Innovation Inclusive Fund" were announced. But they could never become a reality.
Provision of Rs.100 crore for Start-up Village entrepreneurship for the rural population, and Rs.200 crore for scheduled caste entrepreneurs was also announced. A special focus on software startups with allocation of Rs. 500 crore is been provisioned.
He also suggested appointing a committee with representatives from the Finance Ministry, Ministry of MSME and RBI to give concrete suggestions in three months. He proposed to establish a Technology Centre Network to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and agro-industry.
It is viewed by the entrepreneurs that the Union Budget 2014 reflects optimism for the Indian SMEs in the coming year. With conducive financial schemes and budget allotments planned in their favor, SMEs are bound to make a substantial contribution to the country's GDP. The efforts undertaken to promote entrepreneurship are truly a positive sign for the economy.
We were striving hard, since long, to create a positive entrepreneurial ecosystem and government support to accomplish it. This was a great encouragement to all the stakeholders engaged facilitating entrepreneurship in India.
It will create a favorable ecosystem for the start-ups to flourish. The revision of the MSME definition for high capital ceiling will enable the SMEs to get higher credit from the market, in turn helping them to grow and expand. Additionally, the sanctioning of Rs. 200 crore for development of 6 more textile clusters will provide a platform for SMEs to share best practices, pool resources and grow their enterprise fast, along with generating employment opportunities, thereby affecting the growth of the Indian economy in a positive manner.
Implementation of all the provisions is something which will need lot of planning because handling of these funds will require a proper framework and involvement of experienced investor networks can play pivotal role, if involved in the process.
But we Indians are always optimistic and firmly believe that we have chosen right people to efficiently manage this great country. The application to work, fast decisions and commitment of this government is visible and must be appreciated.
Let us hope that a startup culture, as seen in the US and some other western countries, will catch up in India too.
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