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Kerala Budget 2018: Stage set for a thriving startup ecosystem

Isaac has made an allocation of Rs 80 crore for Kerala Startup Mission, a nodal agency of the government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

Published: 03rd February 2018 01:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2018 02:55 AM   |  A+A-

'Water Authority Innovation Zone,' a new scheme started in association with Kerala Start-up Mission to transform new ideas into practical technologies for disentangling the problem of distribution of potable water and treatment of wastewater, is the first step in this regard.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The budget has made a history of sorts in the startup saga of the state. By recognising a Technopark-based robotics company GenRobotics for solving the challenge of sewerage cleaning, the government noted the role of startups in solving social problems. According to experts, this could pave way for flourishing the startup ecosystem in the state and the government departments would actively seek bright ideas from startups to meet the challenges. 

"The world of tomorrow belongs to the startups of today. IT parks and giant companies in them will still have space. But the momentum of tomorrow's world is going to be determined by new generation startups," said the Finance Minister.  

Isaac has made an allocation of Rs 80 crore for Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), a nodal agency of the government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state. He said Kerala Financial Corporation will invest in the share of those companies recommended by the KSUM with the guarantee of the government.

FM's terminology draws criticism

Kochi: HE may have used it in the positive sense, but Finance Minister Thomas Isaac's budget statement to term migrant workers in the state as 'guest workers' has not gone down well with experts working in policy and advocacy in the area of migration. resenting his budget, Isaac said the government will term migrant workers as ‘guest workers’ who come to work in the state. Benoy Peter, a specialist in policy and advocacy, Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID), said the term 'guest workers' is discriminatory, and would convey a wrong message.

"International Labour Organisation uses the term migrant workers. The term 'guest worker' is discriminatory, and it gives a message that they are not wanted here permanently," Peter said. He said Kerala has been in the forefront of providing various schemes for the nearly 30 lakh migrant workers in the state including insurance scheme for them.

"The 'Apna Ghar', the rental accommodation for migrants, however, acts as ghettoisation of workers from other states," he said."Kerala needs migrant workers more than they need us." P S Sreekala, director, Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority, said the FM used 'guest workers' in the positive sense. "In the wake of negative reports on migrant workers in Kerala, the FM wanted to convey the message that migrants are welcome in state. It should not be interpreted in the negative sense," she said.

FAIR VALUE OF LAND TO GO UP

T'Puram: The state Budget has proposed to increase the fair value of land. In his Budget speech, Finance Minister said as part of the move to bring down the difference between the market value and fair value, the latter will be raised by 10 per cent. To resolve anomalies in the existing fair value, efforts will be made to re-determine the fair value in 2018-19. Since 2010, when the fair value was fixed, 10 lakh cases are pending for quoting lower land value for registration. All land transaction cases involving a stamp duty up to Rs 5,000 will be written off. In the rest of the cases, follow-up action can be avoided by paying 30 pc of the stamp duty on the undervalued amount.

Other highlights
Two per cent court fee to be charged for arbitration proceedings
For PWD contracts, stamp duty worth 0.1 per cent to be levied
with a cap of I 1 lakh I 500 stamp duty for advertisement contracts
I 1,000 stamp duty for commercial lease agreements
Service charge will be increased by 5 per cent



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