With a promise to strengthen startups ecosystem in India, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has released its manifesto with several promises for startups and MSME sector.
The ruling party has announced a ‘Seed Startup Fund’ of Rs 20K crore to promote and encourage startups. It said to start a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit of up to Rs 50 lakh for entrepreneurs.
About 50 per cent of the loan amount will be guaranteed towards female entrepreneurs, while 25 per cent will be for male entrepreneurs.
Claiming to fuel the numbers of entrepreneurs, who have taken a loan under Mudra Yojana, it promised to give loans to 300 million young businessmen by 2024.
BJP promised to facilitate setting up of at least 50,000 new startups and 500 new incubators and accelerators in the next five years. The manifesto also promised to create 100 innovation zones in urban local bodies.
Besides, BJP plans to support entrepreneurs from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward communities or economically weaker sections and take forward its Startup India Standup India initiative.
Further, it has said to ease the regulatory requirement for startups, reduce time spent for tax complaint to one hour and initiate ranking of ministers from Centre and states.
In the last few months, the govt has been at the centre of a storm over the continuance of harassment through the #AngelTax demon. BJP plans to address the rampant issues through dedicated departments for resolving such concerns.
The party will also set up a new ‘Entrepreneurial Northeast’ scheme to provide financial support to the micro, small, and medium industries and for employment generation in the Northeastern state added the manifesto.
For MSME, it plans to give Rs 1 lakh crore loans under the Credit Guarantee Scheme. It will create a national policy for retail trade in the country. The manifesto also promised to provide accidental insurance of Rs 10 lakh to small traders.
Though, this is not first-time such promises made by the BJP.
Earlier, as part of the Startup India action plan, Narendra Modi-led party had announced a credit guarantee fund with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore to provide funding facilities to startups in the country.
It had declared an Rs 10,000-crore fund of funds managed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in 2016. However, it managed to allocate merely less than 20 per cent of the corpus till November 2018. The govt claimed to have to given funding to 170 startups.
On April 2, the opposition party Congress had also released its manifesto wherein it promised to create an Enterprise Support Agency to help entrepreneurs, including startups, with all-round business support.
Among many things, it promised regulatory forbearance for MSME- exempted from all applicable laws and regulations (except the Minimum Wages Act and tax laws) for a period of 3 years from 1 April 2019.