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Ready to address concerns of startups and prevent them from moving out of India: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government is ready to talk with the startups who are contemplating moving overseas and address their issues as much as it can to help them stay in India.

The FM also told a think-tank, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself engaged with startups and the government’s policies have created an enabling environment as a result of which there are more than 100 unicorns in India.

“I have engaged, the Prime Minister with the startups to know what they want from India. And we kept as much as possible addressing their concerns. Now as a result of which, not purely as a result of which, but also because of which, you saw your Unicorns coming to reach 100 in number within the year of 2020 and 2021,” she said in response to a question at the prestigious Brookings Institute think-tank.

“I’ve heard this from others as well. They (startups) are moving to Singapore, they’re moving to the UAE. Well, if they want to talk to the Government of India and say, look, we were moving to Singapore, but if we were to do this, we would be quite happy to be here. And after hearing it if it’s possible, we’ll certainly attend to them,” Sitharaman said when asked about the successful Indian startups moving out of the country.

“So I would think continuous engagement with the startups is what is going to help them to remain and do better within India. But, if there are temptations for which they would want to go outside, we need to understand how much we can entertain and serve on those courses. Not all of them are possible but equally, we can try,” Sitharaman said.

Responding to another question, the finance minister said the Indian government is taking special efforts to encourage startups in the Northeast.

“I remember myself having had meetings with chief ministers of those regions about startups and IIT Guwahati, particularly, has a lot of interaction with industry and also encourages by throwing up challenges for the startups to come up with solutions,” she said.

“As a result, I find in the Northeast this unique, very typical for the Northeast kind of solutions emanating from startups which are coming up in that area,” she added.

*With inputs from agencies

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