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India lines up Rs 1-trn corpus for research & innovation

This will provide long-term financing with low or nil interest rates to encourage theprivate sector, which will surely lead to development of the nation, say IT expertseconomic corridors

India lines up Rs 1-trn corpus for research & innovation

Bengaluru: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the interim budget before the upcoming General Elections said that the government would establish a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore from which an interest-free loan will be provided for 50 years.

The corpus will provide long-term finance or re-financing with long tenures with zero interest, she said while presenting the interim Budget 2024. “This will mark a golden era for our tech savvy youth,’’ she pointed out.

“This will encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. We need to have programmes that combine the powers of our youth and technology,” the Finance Minister added.

In her budget speech, she pointed out that new age technologies and data are changing the lives of people and businesses, through creation of new economic opportunities and facilitating provision of high-quality services at affordable prices for all, including those at ‘bottom of the pyramid’.

Research and Innovation will catalyse India’s growth, generate employment and lead to development, she added.

Startups and technology firms welcomed the decision. Commenting on the development, Darshil Shah, Founder and Director ofTreadBinary, said: “The progressive approach in the interim budget truly underscored the significance of ‘Make in India’. The corpus of Rs 1 lakh-crore, to provide long-term financing with low or nil interest rates, will encourage and make a significant impact on the research and innovation in private sectors, which will surely lead to development of the nation.”

The interim budget for 2024-25 has also proposed to extend the tax holiday offered to startups, sovereign and pension funds, and certain investment units housed in GIFT City’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), by one year until March 31, 2025.

“Certain tax benefits to start-ups and investments made by sovereign wealth or pension funds as also tax exemption on certain income of some IFSC units are expiring on March 31, 2024. To provide continuity in taxation, I propose to extend the date to March 31, 2025,” the Finance Minister said.

The tax holiday scheme for startups, which was announced for the first time in the Union Budget 2017, offers 100 per cent tax rebate to eligible startups on profits made for a period of three years in a total time frame of 10 years of operations.Since then, these provisions have been extended for one year in every subsequent budget.

The interim budget also focussed on the growth of women entrepreneurs. The Finance Minister pointed out that a total of Rs 30 crore MUDRA Yojana loans to women entrepreneurs were allocated last fiscal year.

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