The government has decided to provide relief from payment of rent for small IT units operating out of Software Technology Parks of India or STPI for four months as the firms face challenging times due to the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided to provide rental waiver to the IT units/startups operating from 60 STPI centers across India from 01.03.2020 till 30.06.2020, said Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a tweet.
STPI is an autonomous society under MeitY and has 60 centers across the country including a mix of tier 1 cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkata and tier 2 cities like Nagpur, Warangal, and Surat.
Most of the companies operating out of these parks are either tech MSMEs or startups.
This will benefit nearly 200 small & medium IT or ITeS units supporting 3000 direct jobs and the total cost of the rent waiver of these units for the four months is estimated to be around Rs 5 crore.
The initiative was welcomed by various IT industry veterans, companies and bodies including UnivLabs Meditech and NASSCOM as it would help the IT and IT-enabled sector of the country to combat the current situation.
Some startups took to Twitter to welcome the government’s move, thanking the minister for the waiver.
Recognising the challenges thrown by the ongoing pandemic and the lockdown, Small Industries Development of India (SIDBI) had also recently launched a ‘COVID-19 Startup Assistance Scheme’ to meet working capital loan requirements of the early-stage startups.