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Leg-up for Start-ups as Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Dedicated DD Channel, Relaxation in I-T Scrutiny

Leg-up for Start-ups as Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Dedicated DD Channel, Relaxation in I-T Scrutiny

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government had introduced the incentives to 'release the entrepreneurial spirit' of the country.

New Delhi: To “release” what Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the “entrepreneurial spirit” of the country, the government proposed several schemes and incentives, including a new television channel in the Doordarshan bouquet dedicated exclusively to start-ups.

Presenting the Budget on Friday, Sitharaman said the channel would serve as a platform to promote start-ups, discuss issues affecting their growth, match them with venture capitalists and help with funding and tax planning. She added that the channel and its content would be designed, executed and run by the start-ups themselves.

More incentives

Among other incentives for start-ups, the government said they would not face scrutiny by income tax officials with regard to share value premium and would be applicable for e-verification. Valuation of Category II AIF funds, which include private equity funds, real estate funds and distressed assets funds, will now require no I-T scrutiny.

A tax cut was also proposed for makers of electrical vehicles, a move that will help electronic vehicle manufactures.

The Finance Minister has also allowed 100% FDI for start-ups in single-brand retail and proposed removing the 30% local sourcing norms. Additionally, Sitharaman proposed cutting down sourcing norms by 30 per cent.

Women in entrepreneurship

Sitharaman also said the Stand Up India scheme would be extended to 2020-25, adding that the scheme meant for women entrepreneurs has delivered "enormous benefits".

"The country is witnessing the emergence of thousands of entrepreneurs from women as well as scheduled castes and scheduled tribes,” Sitharaman said. These entrepreneurs were able to start their own businesses and industries with capital provided under Stand Up India.

To further encourage entrepreneurship among women, Women 'SHG Interest Subvention Programme' has been proposed to be expanded to all districts in India, the FM announced.

Apart from the schemes, Sitharaman also gave a call for increased participation of women in the country, stressing on the slogan “Naari tu Narayani”. She said India will become a $3 trillion economy this year. "It is now the sixth largest economy, five years ago it was the 11th."

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