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Maharashtra govt announces a slew of initiatives for startups, including Rs 5,000 Cr investment

Binjal Shah
24th Jan 2018
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An investment of Rs 5,000 crore will be disbursed to startups by the Maharashtra state cabinet, under the ambitious "Maharashtra State Innovation and Start-Up Policy," which also encompasses setting up incubators in order to foster an over all conducive environment for the startup ecosystem.

The policy, prepared by the Government of Maharashtra’s skill development and entrepreneurship department, states that the amount will be dispensed fully by 2022, in the hope of establishing 10,000 startups, thus generating 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.

While half the amount, i.e. Rs 2,500 crore, will be set aside in the state budget to foster entrepreneurship with a special bent towards startups, the other half of the amount will be used for venture capital funding for startups units. The government calls upon financial institutions to lend to startups, and even intends to stand guarantee for a part of the loans issued.

Besides the investment, at least fifteen startup incubators will be established across the state. “We aim to develop at least 10 lakh sq ft of incubation space in the state over a period of five years. Eventually, we plan to scale it up to around 35 incubation centres, which in effect means one for each district,” said a department official, according to this Livemint article.

These 35 centres will be divided equally among 12 distinct, prominent and buzzing sectors that have been identified by the government — construction, production and manufacturing, textile, automotive, hospitality, healthcare, banking, finance and insurance, organised retail, pharmaceutical and chemical, information technology and enabled services, agro-processing and biotechnology — thus amounting to no more than three incubators per sector. The plan is to evenly distribute these incubators across each district of the state, on a public-private partnership model with lead industries from relevant sectors, according to this Indian Express article.

These incubators will assist the startups right from the idea to implementation and sustenance stages. The official added,

Maharashtra’s strong credentials as the leading industrialised state, especially the service industry and manufacturing, and availability of skilled human resource will complement the startup ecosystem. The incubators will be developed via public-private partnership with the industry and the educational institutions.

Two world-class accelerators are also being thought up for the cities of Nagpur and Aurangabad, with a focus on mentorship and education, once again with the public-private-partnership model, for which, they wish to rope in experienced national and international organisations.

“Startups will be provided services of top-class management and administrative experts through accelerators. This will help startups avoid mistakes, function efficiently, and reduce the risk of their failure,” states the policy.

A slew of other policies will be set in motion, in order to bring some tax relief for the fledgelings — 100 percent and 50 percent reimbursement of stamp duty and registration fee for the first and second transactions respectively, for recognised startups and incubators when they buy or rent property; reimbursement of upto Rs 2 lakh for an Indian patent and Rs 10 lakh for an international one, etc.

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