Slug: It had earlier formulated Chandigarh Startup policy, 2021, but last year decided against notifying the draft in favour of Centre’s startup action plan
It’s still not over for the Chandigarh startup policy. The UT administration is once again considering formulating a dedicated policy specific to the city requirements.
The administration had earlier formulated an ambitious ‘Chandigarh Startup policy 2021’, but last year decided against notifying the draft in favour of the Centre’s startup action plan.
“We are revisiting the issue and will soon take a comprehensive view on the policy. The Centre’s action plan is generic. If we want to give specific benefits to Chandigarh startups tailored to their needs then we need a Chandigarh startup policy,” said a senior UT official.
Currently, startups in the city can be registered under the Centre’s action plan, 2016, on its startup portal. Also, the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) helps IT-related startups.
The UT industry department has started discussions with different stakeholders, including the local industry. A high-level meeting to be chaired by the UT adviser has been called by the department and the industry representatives have been invited to the meet scheduled for November 22.
“The industry representatives and also officials within the administration believe that a localised startup policy can be critical in providing the essential funding, mentorship and market access support required by startups to grow as important contributors to the local economy in terms of revenue and job creation,” said the official.
A startup policy contains provisions to incentivise key startup stakeholders such as incubators and institutions of higher education among others so as to promote holistic development for India’s startup ecosystem.
Out of the 36 states and union territories, 30 have their own dedicated startup policies.
Once being promoted as an IT hub, Chandigarh has been lagging behind neighbouring cities, particularly Mohali, in terms of attracting new talent and setting up industrial units.
Likely on lines of 2021 draft policy
The revived policy is likely to be formulated on the lines of the Chandigarh Draft Policy, 2021.
The draft recommended setting up a Chandigarh Seed Fund Scheme to plug in the gap for early-stage startup financing in the UT, interest-free loans, empanelment of startup mentors, and development of co-working spaces, and setting up of incubators.
The policy will provide for incentives over and above the Startup India Action Plan of the Government of India. “In case the same benefit is enlisted in another policy of the UT administration, it may be availed under only one policy,” said the official.
A startup portal (website) will also be created, which will be a one-stop platform for startups and ecosystem stakeholders containing all relevant information and resources.
At least 10% of all goods and services will be procured by the administration from UT-registered startups, states the draft policy, a copy of which is with the HT.
The 2021 draft also mandated the administration to set up a dedicated entrepreneurship centre for Women (ECW), which was envisaged as a hub for aspiring and seasoned women entrepreneurs providing access to mentorship, capacity-building exercises, and other programmes beneficial for women-led startups. The ECW shall run dedicated incubation and acceleration programme for women on an annual or biannual basis.