Odisha to help set up 1,000 startups in five years

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BHUBANESHWAR: The Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha on Tuesday cleared a startup policy that it plans to launch later this week at an investor meeting in Bengaluru.

Patnaik is hoping to get his state among the top three in the race of competitive federalism pushed by the central government.On Tuesday, the state cabinet also announced a special session of the assembly to ratify the GST Bill, which has been passed by both houses of Parliament and needs approval from half the state assemblies.

Patnaik will be traveling to Bengaluru on August 26 to attend the two-day investor conclave.Odisha will also co-host a startup conclave in November with TiE Bhubaneshwar and TiE Global, a network of tech entrepreneurs.

Under the policy approved on Tuesday, universities will be offered financial help for incubation centres.

“The policy extends hand-holding to individual startups while supporting, with logistics and finances, institutional incubators,” said Rajib Sekhar Sahoo, president of TiE-Bhubaneswar, while welcoming the state policy. With Bhubaneshwar being the home to an IIT, NISER and XIMB, finding young entrepreneurs to groom will not be a problem, he said.

Odisha aspires to figure in the top three startup destinations in India by 2020. It is aiming to set up 1,000 startups in the next five years, for which the state’s MSME Department will provide a Rs 25 crore seed fund. According to a press note released after the cabinet meeting, it department will also participate in private state-specific funds.

An extremely profitable commodity boom has helped create several millionaires in Odisha’s mining sector, particular iron ore. But the 16-year regime of Patnaik has also seen some embarrassing controversies involving businesses – for example, the one involving Vedanta’s efforts to gain bauxite supply for its refinery.

The perception among one set of investors, primarily based on high-profile exits of the likes of steel giants ArcelorMittal and Posco from the state, is that Odisha remained a difficult state to do business in. “That is unfair and not based on ground realities. The issues pertained to one sector that suffered due to weaknesses in mining laws and global recession,” said Sahoo.Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan are among the other state that have already announced their state specific policies.

This article was originally published on TheEconomicTimes.

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