New Delhi, December 19, 2017

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has urged the Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) to tweak CSR guidelines so as to have a flexible regime for supporting incubators, its Secretary Ramesh Abhishek has said.

"We have suggested that CSR guidelines should not have stipulations around the location of the incubators. So long as it is an incubator supported by the government, a corporate spend on incubators should be counted upon to get CSR no matter where the incubator is located," Abhishek said at Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association's (IVCA) power meet with Preqin.

Abhishek said current CSR guidelines stipulate that only incubators located in government institutions would be eligible for CSR. "We need to move away from this location aspect", Abhishek said. The other suggestion from DIPP to MCA is that the current norm requiring only "tech incubators" would qualify for CSR need to be done away with. "All the incubators should be eligible and not only tech-based ones," Abhishek said.

He also said India needs more incubators and the current level of about 250 is quite low. "We lack enough incubators. There is need for at least ten times more incubators.. say about 2,500 or so", he said.

RANKING STATES

Abhishek said DIPP would soon embark upon an exercise to rank states on their support to the start-up ecosystem. Now, as many as 18 states have a start-up policy. It was only about four till a few years back.

CREDIT GUARANTEE SCHEME

Abhishek said the credit guarantee scheme for start-ups is in the works and the matter is before the Cabinet. The idea is to guarantee debts of start-ups up to Rs. 2 crore.

[The Hindu Business Line]