Electronic development fund for start-ups soon: Prasad

Kochi, Dec 28 (IANS) Recommending replication of Kerala’s Startup Village model in other states in India to boost entrepreneurship, union Communication and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sunday said the government will set up an electronic development fund for start-ups across the country.

“I am very happy that Kerala has done good work. We need to replicate it. In order to promote entrepreneurship in IT, the central government has come up with the concept of electronic development fund with the government partnering with angel funds to fund startups in IT, electronics and manufacturing,” said Prasad during a visit to the Village.
Terming the Modi government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign as a revolutionary plan to bridge the gap between the digital haves and have-nots, he said the entire profile of India will change in the next four to five years.
“We propose to connect 2,50,000 gram panchayats across the country with a national optical fibre network in the next three years. Kerala is doing very well in this. By the end of this financial year, all gram panchayats in the state will have the national optical fibre network. E-education, e-commerce and e-health will ride on that,” he noted.
Prasad added that the central government is promoting electronic manufacturing in a big way by giving many incentives to electronic clusters across the country.
“Until now, we have received investment proposals worth Rs.18,000 crore from foreign players and others in the field of electronic manufacturing. Out of this, around Rs.4,000 crore worth of projects have been approved,” he said.
With regards to the incentives, he said if a state government or any other body provides 100 acres of land for setting up manufacturing units, the central government will provide a funding support of Rs.50 crore straight away.
Also, for every Rs.100 invested by someone in a factory, the government will invest Rs.25, he said. This is apart from the incentives given by the state.
Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said the minister’s visit was major recognition and they had highlighted the need to replicate the Startup Village model in all other states.
The Startup Village model by now has been adopted by Andhra Pradesh while Madhya Pradesh and a couple of other states are actively looking to replicate it.