Wednesday , 25 April 2018

IT startup policy to be unveiled soon

PANAJI: Stating that the government is very serious about encouraging local IT industry, IT Minister Rohan Khaunte on Monday said the new IT startup policy can be expected in the next 15-20 days.

He indicated that the policy will be generous towards the IT industry.

“The government is willing to give the industry whatever it wants as long as it gives employment to locals,” he said.

Khaunte said the focus of the startup policy that is in the final stage of drafting is going to be on employment generation so as to stop the brain drain taking place in the state. The policy will emphasise on skill development by setting up incubation centres and accelerators, Khaunte said.

“It will try to create a favourable ecosystem in the short term that will help the local industry to expand,” he said.

The government is offering a 48-seat incubation centre in Panaji set up in partnership with Software Technology Parks of India.

The government is also looking at “IT anywhere instead of at notified areas,” so that the existing startups have the freedom to operate. Khaunte was speaking as the chief guest at a meeting of Goa Technology Association held at ICG, Dona Paula where IT director Ameya Abhyankar was also present.

Abhyankar said the startup policy is likely to be accompanied by a scheme for local tech companies so that entrepreneurs can apply for it as soon as the policy is announced.

The scheme will have a funding mechanism to ensure that disbursement for it is not held hostage by budgetary provision, Abhyankar said.

Goa’s IT industry comprises over 100 companies, of which 70 per cent are startups. The startups are virtually promoted by local talent and several among them are quite successful.

According to GTA, about 15 per cent of Goan startups have turnover between Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore, which is a good track record vis-à-vis the national average.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in his budget 2017-18 speech had announced that the government would come up with IT startup policy.

The government is interested in IT for the industry potential to generate jobs to over 2,500 youth passing out of five engineering colleges.

Abhyankar said the startup policy will ensure that obstructions are removed and there is a favourable ambience for growth for local companies.

The policy will act as a facilitator, he said.

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