Government only to be facilitator for start-ups: Sitharaman

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The government on Saturday said it was committed to act only as a “facilitator” to start-ups by ensuring a friendlier regulatory regime, easier capital availability and quicker exit norms through a bankruptcy code.

“Our intention is not to come down heavily as government, but only to facilitate,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, while addressing the inaugural session of the Start-Up India programme to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Saturday.

“How to remove the clutter so that the core business work can be attended to, is our aim,” she added.

Modi is also slated to release a Start-Up Action Plan, visit a virtual exhibition and interact with start-up entrepreneurs at the event.

“It isn’t ‘jugaad’ (frugal innovation),” Sitharaman said of Indian entrepreneurship, adding that the government looks forward to engaging with entrepreneurs to remove “all the burdensome regulations for start-ups”.

She said the number of people seeking government jobs had come down, while the numbers looking to start their own ventures had gone up.

“The number of government jobs is going down…there aren’t any, while the Indian entrepreneur has come back to contribute to the benefit of the consumer,” the minister said.

Sitharaman also said the government is bringing in a bankruptcy law, among other measures, aimed at further easing the process of doing business.

“The government is working on a exit policy, that is also required for companies. The Bankruptcy Code is before parliament,” she said.

Explaining that her ministry had engaged with all the other ministries to ensure a successful Start-Up India event, Sitharaman said the government has set up a fund to help start-ups.

The government had, in August last year, set up an India Aspiration Fund to increase capital availability for start-ups.

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