Panaji: With the Goa Startup policy set to expire on March 27 and with schemes and incentives under the IT Policy yet to be implemented, Goa’s IT industry feels it is being given step-motherly treatment. Though the state government has held one round of deliberations, there is no indication that the new IT startup-policy is anywhere close to being rolled out.
Officials from the department of information technology said that if the new policy is not rolled out by March end, then the existing policy will be extended for the second time. “The department has started working on a revamped policy that will address regulatory bottlenecks and enhance funding avenues for startups. We have already held one round of consultation with the minister and stakeholders,” said director for IT Ankita Anand.
With no clear direction emerging from the state government, IT companies and startups seem to be staring at uncertainty.
“We met the chief minister and have conveyed to him that the policy and its schemes need to be implemented. There is no need to make any fresh changes and it should be renewed as is,” said president of Goa Technology Association Mangirish Salelkar.
Salelkar has also requested the state to focus on existing IT companies that have a proven track record and that are export oriented.
Anand, while speaking to TOI, said that any new policy will take learnings from the existing startup policy and inputs from startups while also focusing on institutional and financial support, access to talent, skill development and thought leadership.
“All my efforts are towards bringing a new IT Policy say in two or three months, but till then we can extend the present startup policy,” said Anand.
Till date 110 startups have been certified by the department of IT. However, disbursal of funds to them has slowed. Surces said that the Startup Promotion Cell is struggling for funds and manpower. EY (formerly Ernst & young), the consultant appointed to help the state revamp the startup policy has also parted ways with the state since November.