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FM asks India Inc to partner with startups, use tech solutions

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked the Indian industry to partner with startups and use their solutions in developing products.

She also sought to know from the captains of the Indian industry to give ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas on what could act as a catalyst to boost investment.

“I find the pace at which startups and their solutions are moving. Actually the solutions are for you. But you should move as fast as they do or else you will be where you are and they will find newer industry or business activity for which they will come up with solutions which are lucrative and you are going to be where you are.

“So I would think working together with startups for products… or for technology requirement is the need of the hour, and you should now unhesitatingly partner to get that benefit,” Sitharaman said at the CII post-budget interaction with CEOs.

She said for the new sunrise sector, production linked incentive (PLI) scheme can be a good incentive.

“But I also think beyond PLI is there anything that you think is that one little catalyst which can give you the lead, what is that?” she said.

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Sitharaman also urged the industry to think of out-of-the-box investment drawing and technology drawing ideas, and out-of-the-box working together with startups to get solutions.

She said post-COVID-19, the industry has started looking at the India opportunities beyond their own sectors, and is calibrating investment plans in line with technology, SDG, and sustainability imperatives.

On the suggestion of reducing GST on cement from the current 28% to bring down the cost of construction both for public works and private construction activities like housing, the finance minister said that the issue will be examined, and if required, will be considered for reference to the GST fitment committee.

CII President Sanjiv Bajaj said that the balance between fiscal prudence and growth in the Budget is commendable, and more so because the balance is based on conservative growth and revenue estimates.

He also praised the government for the various ease of doing provisions in the budget, including the introduction of the Jan Vishwas Bill, using PAN as a common business identifier, the establishment of the Digi-Locker, and the second version of Vivad se Vishwas scheme.

Edited by Suman Singh

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