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Government to set up advisory council to engage with startups

Startups in India for long have been complaining about the absence of a structural set up to raise their concerns and engage with the government.

After being unheard for years, finally, the Centre has realised the importance of forming a committee, where both startups and government representatives can meet at regular intervals.

Now, the government is planning to set up a Startup Advisory Council. “People from the startup ecosystem and relevant ministries will meet up to discuss the concerned issues,” said an ET report quoting a government official.

Entrepreneur members, who would be part of the startup council, have also been identified.

Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran, Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal, Nandan Nilekani, Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Siddarth Pai are reported to be part of the council representing startups.

The council will meet before the next Union Budget.

Issues like supportive business funds, exemption from capital gains tax for investors, Angel Tax and lack of a good ecosystem for startups, ease of doing business and taxing of employee stock ownership plans (Esops) are expected to be tabled.

The planning of a startup council is part of DPIIT’s Startup India Vision 2024.

DPIIT secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra had last month confirmed that the govt is working on multiple regulatory measures including improving compliance related to incorporation and tax issues related to startups.

Earlier last year, the government had set up a platform to help startups connect with the right talent, investors and mentors under Deepak Agarwal.

As of November 2019, India has about 25,115 DPIIT registered startups in the country. Around 4000 are reportedly in smaller towns. The government plans to take the number to 50,000 by 2024.

Of late, the government is seen to be making attempts to expedite the process to improve the Indian startup ecosystem.

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