The government is expected to announce in the forthcoming budget steps to further strengthen the start-up ecosystem in the country and address inverted duty issues in certain sectors to promote domestic manufacturing, official sources said.
Fiscal incentives under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to some more sectors are also likely to be announced in the budget, which will be presented on February 1.
Besides, the government may consider providing funds to infrastructure projects approved by the Network Planning Group (NPG), constituted under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, they said.
On October 13 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Gati Shakti - National Master Plan aimed at developing an integrated infrastructure to reduce logistics costs.
The NPG has representations from various connectivity infrastructure ministries/ departments involving their heads of network planning division for unified planning and integration of the proposals.
All these departments approach the NPG first for approval before making a DPR (detailed project report) at the planning stage.
Inverted duty structure refers to the taxation of inputs at higher rates than finished products that result in the build-up of credits and cascading costs.
The government has already taken a series of steps to promote startups in the country. Under the Startup India initiative, the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) are implemented to provide capital at various stages of the business cycle of a start-up.
The government launched the Startup India initiative in January 2016 with the intent to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and encouraging private investments in the startup ecosystem.
"The commerce and industry ministry has suggested steps to further promote ease of doing business for startups,” one of the sources said.
In 2022, the Indian start-up ecosystem witnessed a huge fund crunch. Compared to 2021, late-stage funding dropped by 52 per cent. Venture Capital (VC) investment also dropped to $4 billion in November 2022.
In this so-called 'funding winter,' the measures from the central government may provide a boost to the Indian start-up ecosystem.