KOCHI: Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said that the Central Government would set up an electronic development fund for the startups across the country. The Minister, who was on a visit to the Startup Village at Kalamassery, said that the government was ready to partner with startups in IT, electronics and manufacturing, with angel funds.
“The Central Government is promoting electronics manufacturing in a big way by providing incentives to the electronics clusters in the country,” he pointed out. “So far, we have received investment proposals worth Rs 18,000 crore from both foreign and domestic entities in the field of electronics manufacturing. Out of that, around Rs 4,000 crore worth of projects have been approved,” the Minister said.
“As for the incentives, if 100 acres of land is made available - by the State Government or any other agency - for setting up manufacturing units, the Centre would provide funding up to Rs 50 crore. Also, for every Rs 100 invested in a factory, the Central Government will invest Rs 25, in addition to the incentives given by the State,” he pointed out.
Terming the Central Government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign as a revolutionary plan to bridge the gap between the ‘digital haves and have-nots’, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India’s profile would change in the next four-five years. “The Central Government and State Government should work together to make ‘Digital India’ a big success.
“We propose to connect 2.5 lakh grama panchayats across the country with optical fibre network in the next three years. By the end of the current financial year, all the panchayats in the State will have the ‘national optical fibre network’. E-education, e-commerce and e-health will ride on that,” the Minister added. IT and Industries Principal Secretary P H Kurian, Startup Village CEO Pranav Kumar Suresh and chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar briefed the Minister on the activities of the Startup Village. Sanjay Vijayakumar said that visits by Union Ministers to the Startup Village were a major recognition for it.
“The Startup Village has become a platform for talented youth to show their skills to the world. We are happy that the model has been adopted by Andhra Pradesh, while Madhya Pradesh and two other states are actively planning to replicate it,” said Pranav Kumar.