Karnataka govt to set up body for tackling startup-related policy challenges 

Karnataka govt to set up body for tackling startup-related policy challenges 
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle
19 Nov, 2018

The Karnataka government is working towards setting up a body that will look into policy challenges raised by startups.

The state’s social welfare minister Priyank Kharge said an Innovation Authority headed by the chief minister is being mooted for the purpose, The Economic Times reported. 

Kharge, who was previously IT minister, said that the government would strive to create innovation-friendly policies for startups in cases where regulatory grey areas remain.

Policies were always playing catch-up, Kharge told The Economic Times on the sidelines of an event. 

"Most innovations that are happening today are not as per our policies. Technologies are fast changing and in such an environment, instead of banning a people-friendly business on the grounds that the regulations do not allow it, the 'Innovation Authority' would intervene to come up with a quick policy framework,” Kharge was quoted as saying.

His comments come weeks after a startup founder was arrested in Bengaluru for setting up a bitcoin trading kiosk even as cryptocurrency regulations remain in limbo.

Kharge was speaking on the sidelines of "Manifesto Consultation on Startups", a discussion organised by the All India Congress Committee (AICC). The deliberations were chaired by Kharge and former Indian Institute of Management-Bengaluru professor and Member of Parliament Rajeev Gowda. 

The other participants included NASSCOM board member Ravi Gururaj, startup lobby iSpirt founding member Sharad Sharma and venture capital investor Naganand Doraswamy.

According to an AICC statement, Gururaj emphasised the need for regulation to be minimised to help startups succeed. Sharma of iSpirt asked the government to create digital public goods to enable the startup ecosystem to thrive.

Gowda assured the startup community that healthcare, transport and other regulatory frameworks will be modernised to enable startups to transform these sectors, the statement added.