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After marathon exercise to frame startup policy, Chandigarh to follow govt norms

Despite working for nearly a year to frame its own startup policy, the UT administration has decided to follow government of India norms, focusing instead on a Chandigarh innovative circle to give a boost to new ventures.

Disappointed with the move, industrialists have called for urgent measures to inject live into the dying industries in the city.

The Startup India Policy aims to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of startups.
In efforts to frame its own policy first, the administration worked on the draft, held several meetings with IT companies and industrialists, even inviting their suggestions and organising seminars.

However, now government of India norms will be followed for start ups. Instead, "we will have a Chandigarh innovative circle (CIC) to facilitate budding entrepreneurs and those who have innovative ideas but no resources to execute them," said Harjeet Singh Sandhu, director, industries, Chandigarh.

Approvals for CIC was pending with the home ministry, he added.

Prime minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Startup India Policy in 2015, following which the Central government asked states and UTs to frame rules according to requirements.

'ENTREPRENEURS DEPRIVED OF OPPORTUNITIES'

The news was not received positively by industrialists. Pankaj Khanna, president of the Industry Association of Chandigarh, found it "sad that entrepreneurs of Chandigarh have been consistently deprived of opportunities for the past many decades. A comprehensive startup policy was much required."

Requesting the UT administration to expedite the industries'/startup reforms, Khanna said the need of the hour was to rev up the old, dying industry of Chandigarh.

Hindustan Times has through several reports highlighted the fact that being a centre of education for youngsters from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh attracted the best talent in the region, but was unable to retain it due to paucity of jobs, an issue compounded by the absence of the startup policy.

In the draft policy, the UT administration had proposed assistance to first-timers getting innumerable registrations done, acquiring certificates, organising finance, labour and getting environment-related compliances and following other bureaucratic regulations. The administration had even planned to provide sufficient social and legal knowledge to young entrepreneurs and innovative techies, and educate them on policies helpful for them.

FACILITATING BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS

CIC is aimed at facilitating budding entrepreneurs and those who have innovative ideas but no resources to execute them. It will be incorporated as a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act 2013 and will be connecting academic institutions, industries, administration and the government on a platform to boost economic and technological growth in the region.

A Section 8 company is formed for charitable purpose, to promote education, art, commerce, social welfare. Any profit made by such company is channelled back to it for promotions.

The plan was first floated by the UT administrator and Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore, after looking at the Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC) founded by Panjab University in 2013, for which 29 academic institutions from the region are collaborating.

CIC TO OPERATE FROM CENTRAL LOCATION

The CIC will have a board of directors, vision and oversight committee, a CEO, member institutions and heads and staff for different research areas. It will also have advisers for business, finance, IP and legal matters. The circle will operate from a central location in Chandigarh, the space for which will be provided by the UT administration.

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