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Start-ups seek better visibility, funding

Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speaking at a consultation meet in Tiruchi on Sunday.M. Srinath

Start-ups sought better visibility and recognition for the sector during a consultation meet on Sunday with P. Chidambaram, former Finance Minister and chairman of the Congress Manifesto Committee for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

At the meeting moderated by R.M.P. Jawahar, Executive Director, Tiruchi Regional Engineering College Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park, the participants, while highlighting their problems, solutions and appropriate approach, came out with several suggestions that included formation of an exclusive ministry for innovation and invention, subsidy incentives for SMEs achieving set targets, solar-specific policy for indigenous production of panels at competitive rates, rigid rules to protect patents, an ideal eco system for testing and certification, and better streamlining of bank credit.

The participants, representing 25 start ups, sought active role in curbing corruption in approval processes, and emphasised on reduction of GST for capital expenditure and environmental friendly products.

A suggestion for extending research and development funding for the SMEs was also put forth.

The formation of a separate ministry for innovation and invention was touted as a sure shot way to generate patents and income generation for the government.

A participant pointed out that income generation in waste management could be made possible through tweaking of policies.

Another speaker said the National Research Development Corporation was not effective enough to popularise innovations and inventions, and mooted empowerment of managers of incubation centres to derive the utility of patented innovations in global markets.

Setting the tone for the consultation earlier, Mr. Chidambaram said the Congress manifesto committee had, so far, conducted more than 60 consultations and nearly 50 private consultations in a nation-wide exercise to understand the requirements of the people.

The meetings were also being conducted by sub-committees to reflect the aspirations of the people in the manifesto, he added.


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