Startups are a vital component of Kerala economy, says Finance Minister
By Pinkerala News Desk | Apr 27, 2022
Proposal to raise the ceiling on govt purchase of startup products on the anvil: Balagopal
Thiruvananthapuram, Apr. 26: Kerala Finance Minister Shri K N Balagopal today said startups have a major role in strengthening the state’s economy as leveraging their innovative ideas can lead to remarkable growth in various sectors.
The Minister was speaking during the inauguration of the country’s largest Business to Government (B2G) summit, organized by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) here, setting a platform for the startups to showcase a wide range of products and services required by the government departments and the public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Shri Balagopal also said the Government is considering a proposal to raise the ceiling on the purchase of startup products.
Titled ‘Public Procurement Summit 2022’, the event focused on firming up the linkage between the startup ecosystem and the government.
Shri Balagopal said by embracing the innovative ideas generated by the startups, the state will be able to significantly scale up agriculture and the value-addition process. Startups can also contribute immensely to the growth of all key sectors, including healthcare and animal husbandry, he said.
The procurement of startup products and services by the government departments and PSUs had been formalized by IT Policy in 2017, mandating that the government should act as an early adopter of promising technology startups in the state.
“The government is planning to enhance the ceiling on purchase of products and services from startups. Now, startup products and services of up to Rs 20 lakh can be directly procured and those costing from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore can be procured through a limited tender process. The government is planning to increase the ceiling of limited tender from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore,” Shri Balagopal said.
Citing the economic turmoil in Sri Lanka, he said the troubles faced by the island nation are a reminder of the need for developing a strong local economy since a reverse trend of globalization is happening currently.
“Startups must learn to grow beyond their initial run of success. The government is duty-bound to help startups come up with innovative ideas. About Rs 97crore has been set apart in the budget for startups apart from the Rs 250 crore as Venture Capital fund,” Shri Balagopal added.
Presiding over the function, Principal Secretary, General Administration Department and Transport, Shri K R Jyothilal, said Kerala is fast becoming the startup capital of the country and it can gain a prominent place in cleantech and health tech sectors.
Speaking on “Startup Procurement: The Kerala Model,” Shri Jyothilal said a liberal approach is important in matters like registration and extending financial aid to them. “Scaling up and funding have to be addressed in a holistic manner. This summit, which is the first-of-its-kind in the country, can find technology solutions for the benefit of society,” he added.
KSUM CEO Shri John M Thomas, who welcomed the gathering, said the summit is an initiative envisioned to communicate clearly about the value that Kerala startups add to the public ecosystem.
Shri Thomas said around 100 promising startups are participating in the summit, to which 32 government departments have sent their representatives.
Our startups bring to the table a very sound understanding of the most cutting-edge technologies to provide befitting solutions to address the needs of the government and PSUs, he said.
Around 25 startups displayed their products and services at the expo on the sidelines of the summit, which set the stage for start-ups to interact with government officials to know about their requirements.
Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Kerala Water Authority (KWA), Kudumbashree, State IT Mission, and Department of Health were felicitated at the function for their strong bond with startups.
KSEB, which is the first public utility to set up an innovation zone, has been availing the services of 12 startups. Kudumbashree and State IT Mission have brought start-ups on board for eight projects each.
The lead speakers at the summit included Principal Secretary, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Shri M Sivasankar; MD of Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd., Dr. Santhosh Babu; Tourism Director Shri V R Krishna Teja; E-Health Kerala Project Director Shri Mohammad Y Saffirulla; Smart City-Trivandrum CEO Dr. Vinay Goyal; Kerala State IT Mission Director Shri Snehil Kumar Singh; Digital University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Saji Gopinath; KSRTC IT Manager Nishanth S; and CEO of Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited, Dr. Jayakumar.
Program Head, GAM, Shri Varun G, proposed a vote of thanks.
Besides, officials representing the State Planning Board; Centre for Development of Imaging Technology; Excise Department; Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence; Kerala State Housing Board; Kerala State Science and Technology Museum; Motor Vehicles Department; State GST; Technopark; United Electrical Industries Ltd; Department of Animal Husbandry; Information Kerala Mission; Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority; Kochi Metro Rail Limited; MSME-Development Institute, Thrissur; Technical Education; APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University; Directorate of Handloom and Textiles; Kerala State Biodiversity Board; State Institute of Medical Education and Technology (SI-MET); The Alleppey Cooperative Spinning Mills Ltd; Kerala Highway Research Institute; LBS Centre for Science and Technology; NIC Kerala; Police Department; and Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare, also attended the summit.
The public procurement scheme has successfully facilitated the completion of 135 procurements worth more than Rs 12 crore from startups. Startup India and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) have recognized the scheme as one of the best practices in the country and the same was showcased to various states.
KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.
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