Policy Wrap: Government recognises 92,683 entities as startups as on February 28, Meta fires 10,000 more employees in fresh round of layoffs, and more
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Government recognises 92,683 entities as startups as on February 28, 2023
The Ministry of Trade and Industry informed Parliament on Wednesday that as of February 28 this year, 92,683 organisations had been designated as startups. Under the Startup India initiative, these startups are eligible to receive both tax and non-tax incentives.
The government had announced the Startup India initiative on January 16, 2016, with the goal of creating a robust ecosystem for fostering innovation and businesses in the nation.
The current tally of 92,683 recognised startups is a world away from the ecosystem in 2016, which featured just 442 recognised startups in the country.
Sectors such as construction, household services, logistics, real estate, and transportation have more than 7,000 recognised startups.
The IT sector has the most recognised startups (11,099), followed by healthcare and life sciences (8,691), education (5,962), agriculture (4,653), and food and beverages (4,653).
Meta fires 10,000 more employees in fresh round of layoffs, takes tally of workforce fired by the tech sector to 2.8 Lac since 2022
According to a Reuters report, Facebook parent company Meta Platforms announced that it would eliminate 10,000 workers in a second round of major layoffs.
In an effort to reduce costs, Meta laid off 11,000 people in November last year, which accounted for 13% of its global workforce.
"We expect to reduce our team size by around 10,000 people and to close around 5,000 additional open roles that we haven't yet hired," Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg of Meta stated in a message to staff.
In light of the bleak macroeconomic environment, a number of Big Tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, have announced employment layoffs in recent months.
Since the beginning of 2022, the tech sector has let go more than 280,000 workers, with roughly 40% of those layoffs occurring this year.
MeitY plans to have wide stakeholder engagements for the proposed Digital India Act
During the public consultation on the proposed Digital India Bill by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the ministry proposed age-gating by controlling addictive technologies and protecting the data of minors, as well as the security and privacy of kids using social media, gaming, and betting apps, and these will be key components of the Digital India Act. It also proposed resolving user harms brought on by revenge porn, cyberbullying, the dark web, defamation, or doxxing, among other things.
The Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000 will be replaced with the Digital India Bill, which is currently being drafted by the government. It will deal with the challenges involving the modern-day internet.
The IT Act has significant limitations in recognising harms and new types of cybercrimes, without any institutional structure for raising awareness, according to the document, outlining the broad principles of the upcoming Bill.
Indian startups gather to discuss concerns and issues with Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar after the dramatic collapse of SVB
To assess the effects of SVB's collapse last Friday, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology convened a virtual meeting last Tuesday with more than 450 startup founders and investors.
Shri Rajeev Chandrashekhar stated that all the concerns and the list of recommendations after the discussion will be presented to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. He also said that they will look into how they can make it as simple as possible for the startups to transfer their US dollar deposits to Indian banks, foreign banks with IFSC centres, or any other Indian banks with US presence.
The government will look into the possibility of providing credit lines in US dollars or Indian rupees for those startups whose deposits were supposed to be made whole but who now do have access to the funds.
The government has requested that Indian banks with US operations help entrepreneurs move their money out of SVB.
An IT ministry official stated that startups should think about shifting their money to Indian banks in the US rather than another US bank as the Indian banking system is currently very strong.
A four-member GST appellate tribunal might be set up in each state to ensure more efficient dispute resolution
Each state in India might be equipped with a four-member appeal tribunal to streamline and accelerate the Goods and Services Tax dispute resolution procedure (GST)
Each state appeal tribunal would include two judicial members as well as two technical members, with one officer from the centre and one each from the respective states.
The official pointed out that each state appellate tribunal would have two division benches under the proposal, which will allow it to handle more appeals. Also, a national appellate tribunal with one member from the judiciary and one from the technological field will be established in Delhi.
Presently, taxpayers who are dissatisfied with a tax authority decision must file a lawsuit in the appropriate High Court. Due to the High Courts' existing case backlog and lack of a specialised bench to handle GST cases, the resolution procedure takes longer.
It is expected that setting up benches at the state and federal levels would facilitate quicker dispute resolution.
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