Consistent with all budget announcements under the Modi government, start-ups received a special mention this time as well.
The government has proposed to launch a television programme for promoting start-ups, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Friday. The programme will feature discussions on challenges faced by start-ups, fund-raising, access to venture capital funds and tax planning, among other things.
It may be introduced on one of the existing channels on the Doordarshan network or a completely new channel may be launched for the purpose.
“We propose to start a television programme within the DD bouquet of channels exclusively for start-ups,” Sitharaman said. “This shall serve as a platform for promoting start-ups, discussing issues affecting their growth, matchmaking with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning.”
The minister added that the programming will be designed and executed by start-ups themselves, though more clarity is awaited on this bit.
A start-up-focussed TV programme isn’t something new. Back in 2017, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), called Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) at the time, had proposed a start-up reality show on the lines of American TV show Shark Tank. In Shark Tank, start-ups pitch their ideas to investors and get funded on the spot.
While an in-principal approval had been given to the program, it did not take off for reasons unknown. With the new announcement, the government is taking a broader approach in terms of start-up promotional content, that is expected to include panel discussions, interviews and infotainment.