Women start-ups get a boost in India

Government provides generous funding scheme to boost entrepreneurship

By HP Ranina/NRI Problems

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Bengaluru has given the start-up ecosystem a fillip by incentivising risk taking among entrepreneurs. — File photo
Bengaluru has given the start-up ecosystem a fillip by incentivising risk taking among entrepreneurs. — File photo

Published: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 4:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 6:50 PM

Question: While many start-ups in India have been successful, has it given enough opportunities to women entrepreneurs? What support has the Government given to empower women?

ANSWER: With around 61,400 start-ups, India has become the third largest hub globally after the United States and China. Bengaluru has given the start-up ecosystem a fillip by incentivising risk taking among entrepreneurs with a slew of incubation programmes, grants and fellowships.

This is particularly targeted for start-ups initiated by women by providing a grant-in-aid of Rs5 million to encourage innovators who need early stage funding. This programme has put the spotlight on women entrepreneurship, which has resulted in 30 per cent of new start-ups being established by women. So far this has resulted in 1,783 women led start-ups in Bengaluru.

The Indian Government has also formulated a scheme to help self-help groups of women by providing them with drones to be used in agricultural operations for spraying pesticides and fertilisers. Women are to be provided with 15,000 drones; each drone will be used to cover 1,000 hectares. The drone, costing Rs1 million, is funded to the extent of 80 per cent by the Central Government and the remaining amount will come from a subsidy scheme. Each drone will be operated by a drone pilot and an assistant. Both women will be given adequate training in this regard as it will cater to a cluster of 10 to 15 villages. The women will be paid remuneration which is more than what they currently earn as agricultural workers in rural areas. Fertiliser companies are being roped in to implement this scheme.

Question: At the COP28 meeting, India has committed to reduce the carbon footprint. However, automobile emissions and environmental pollution are persisting. Are any steps being taken to reduce the same?

ANSWER: The Government of India has announced a scheme called Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME India Phase II) scheme. Rs100 billion is the budgetary allocation to be spread over five years and the incentive will be given directly to consumers who purchase electric vehicles in the form of reduced prices.

The vehicle manufacturers will be given the amount from the scheme to compensate them for the lower prices charged to purchasers. This scheme was announced in 2019 and upto November 30, 2023 the scheme has covered 1,016,887 two-wheelers, 121,374 three-wheelers and 14,818 four-wheelers. Further, 6,862 electric buses in various cities have availed of the benefit of this scheme.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.
H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.

The three oil marketing companies in India, which are public sector enterprises, have also been incentivised for setting up around 7,500 electric vehicle charging stations in different cities of India. Hence, with more electric vehicles on the roads, automobile pollution is bound to reduce in the near future. Construction activities in densely populated areas of cities are being controlled to prevent environmental pollution. Stubble burning by farmers may be reduced in the near future as the agricultural waste will be converted into building material blocks to be used as a substitute for concrete products. Renewal energies like solar and wind power are being given top priority, apart from substantial investments in green hydrogen projects.

Question: Medical insurance claims are taking a lot of time for being processed. This is causing grave hardship to indigent patients. Are the processes for clearing the dues being expedited in India?

ANSWER: The reason for the delay at present is that the authorization of claims involves the review and processing of clinical and insurance policy documents. To expedite the process, more and more insurance companies are relying on Generative Artificial Intelligence. The application of Gen AI in administrative functions will improve the efficiency of health care delivery because it will help to extract information from diverse formats and locations which will streamline the decision making process. In short, the manual processes which are being undertaken today are time consuming and prone to human errors. With the application of Gen AI, documents will be seamlessly processed and hospital bills will be paid expeditiously. The claimant will also get his dues quicker than at present.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.


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