Budget 2019: Finance Minister announces exclusive TV channel for startups

FM Nirmala Sitharaman proposes exclusive TV channel, which will be operated under the Doordarshan umbrella, and will also help in matching startups with venture funds and investors.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Budget 2019 speech proposed starting an exclusive TV channel for startups. The government will start the startup-focused channel under the Doordarshan umbrella, and it will be managed by startups themselves, the FM said.

The channel will also help in matching startups with venture funds and investors.

The announcement of starting a startup channel under the DD umbrella comes four years after the Modi government launched a similar channel exclusively for farmers and agriculture-related sector. DD Kisan, a 24-hour agricultural TV channel, was launched on May 26, 2015.

The channel provides real-time inputs to farmers on water conservation, innovative farming techniques, organic farming methods, and other related topics.

Earlier in the day, speaking during the Budget speech, Sitharaman spoke about how Stand-up India had helped in building the entrepreneurial environment in India.

The Startup India initiative, launched by the Modi government in 2016, has disbursed over Rs 1,300 crore to Indian startups in the first half of 2019. It took the total disbursement to more than 30 percent (Rs 3,123.7 crore) of the Rs 10,000 crore corpus that was supposed to be deployed over the 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles.

The Startup India fund, known as Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS)disbursed Rs 515 crore during the three months of the calendar year to various VC funds for further downstream investment into startups. In the April-June quarter, the FFS disbursed Rs 856 crore. The government, at the time of launching FFS, had envisioned to create employment for about 18 lakh people.


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