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Nirmala Sitharaman urges MPs to use MPLADS funds to set up infra for start-ups

To boost the startup ecosystem in India, Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has suggested a new measure.

She has written a letter to members of parliament (MPs) and urged them to utilize Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds to set up co-working spaces or startup incubators in their constituencies. The measure will ostensibly help develop the overall startup ecosystem.

“This step will promote the startup ecosystem in the country and help startups in their constituency make rapid strides towards establishing themselves and also create jobs,” a commerce ministry statement said, quoting Sitharaman.

According to her, startups may not be able to own or hire working spaces due to financial constraints – hence, it was suggested that if the government could support in creating co-working spaces, it could help translate their ideas into successful businesses.

Also read: Govt launches interactive platform Startup India Hub for startups

The government has been making all-out efforts towards realising the vision of the Startup India Mission. Startup India envisions building a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation in the country and empowering budding entrepreneurs to grow through innovation and design.

According to the minister, she has been interacting with various startups regarding their business needs and the support they expect from the government. “One of the crucial aspects that needs to be addressed in this regard is infrastructure,” she explained.

The minister’s suggestion is on the lines of her recent initiative in Mangaluru, where she announced India’s first government-owned co-working space for startups, offering cutting-edge technology such as 3D printing, new-age digital infrastructure and high-speed internet.

The initiative was being led by the minister as part of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development scheme.

India is planning to organise a meet of startups of the South Asian region for exchange of new ideas and promoting interaction among them.

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