In a pilot venture aimed at encouraging startups, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday announced the Centre's plan to launch a TV channel dedicated to startups, which would be indigenously designed by them to solve their issues and promote them, in her maiden Union Budget speech presented in the Lok Sabha.
"We propose to start a television program within the bouquet of channels exclusively for startups. This shall be dedicated to promote startups, discuss the issues faced by them, bridge the gap between startups and venture capitalists and help in funding and tax planning. This channel shall be designed by startups themselves," she said.
Speaking about the benefits of the Stand Up India Scheme, she highlighted the upshot in women and SC/ST entrepreneurs who were provided capital under the scheme to stand their own ventures.
"Stand up India has delivered enormously, with the country witnessing the emergence of thousands of entrepreneurs including women and people from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe. Most of them were assisted to set up their own industries with capital provided under the Stand Up India scheme," she added.
Sharing the impact of Stand Up India in the Petroleum Industry, Sitharaman said that 300 entrepreneurs had emerged in 2 years, mainly due to the ministry's bulk LPG transportation contracts. She added that commercial brands have helped in being a catalyst to Stand Up and Start Up.
"Stand up India has made human dignity and self-esteem to go up. Ministry of petroleum and gas has enabled SC/ST entrepreneurs by awarding bulk LPG transportation contracts. In a matter of 2 years, 300 entrepreneurs have emerged due to the Stand Up India scheme. Machines and robots have been deployed to do scavenging saving manual scavenger's dignity. The synthesis between Stand Up and Start Up India with commercial brands playing the catalyst has brought about a transformational change," she said.
Paving the way ahead, the Union Minister announced the continuance of the scheme due to popular demand.
"Highlighting the benefits of the scheme and a large demand by the SC/ST community for the continuance of the scheme, the scheme will now continue covering the entire period coinciding with the 15th Finance commission i.e 2020-2025. Banks will provide capital for demand-based businesses, including for e.g acquisition of scavenging machines probes," she said.
Talking about resolving the angel tax issue she said:
"Startups in India's continued growth needs to be encouraged. To solve the angel tax issue, startups and their investors who file their requisite declarations, provide information about their returns will not be subjected to any scrutiny with respect to valuation share premium. The issue of establishing the identity of investors will be resolved by putting in place an e-verification mechanism. With this, the funds raised by startups will not require any scrutiny from the IT department."
Relaxing the norms and scrutiny on investors in startups, she added:
"In addition, a special arrangement will be made by the Central Board of direct taxes, for pending assessments of startups and redressal of their grievances, ensuring that no verification will be done by the assessing officer without the approval of his supervisory officer. Startups are not required to justify the fair market value of their shares issued to certain investors including Category 1 alternative investment funds, extending to Category 2 also. I also propose relaxation in carrying forward of losses, extending the period of exemption of capital gains arising on sale of houses to invest in startups up to March 31, 2021."
As described in the scheme's official website, on August 14, 2015 PM Modi launched Stand Up India scheme to promote entrepreneurship at grassroots level for economic empowerment and job creation. It was aimed to reach out to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe community and women to enable their participation in India's growth. It provided banks loans between Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 lakh to atleast one SC/ST or woman entrepreneur.