Having accused the NDA government of repackaging and relaunching UPA schemes, Congress Wednesday went a step ahead. Three days before Modi launches Start-Up India, Stand Up India, Congress announced that its vice-president Rahul Gandhi had been meeting start-up entrepreneurs and has promised them support and offered six suggestions to the government for stimulating start-up firms.
Besides attempting to dispel the perception that Rahul was unfriendly towards business, Congress tried to corner the government on net neutrality. The first suggestion, thus, is the demand that there must be a clear statement from the government that it will support net neutrality and not allow big companies to restrict access to the internet.
At the launch, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the PM will “as usual claim credit for and repackaging what Congress had already put in place”.
He said Rahul has met some 30 entrepreneurs in Delhi. The party quoted Rahul as having told them, “As hubs of innovation and as job creators for India’s talented aspirational youth, start-ups have a huge role to play in the next phase of India’s development…. It is critical that they are provided all possible support by the government.”
Congress wants the government to provide internet access to all and set a deadline for universal internet access. Start-ups in India, it said, face difficulties in registration and protection of intellectual property.
“The government must ensure ease of patent registration by streamlining the registration process and opening more patent offices,” it said. Congress also wants the Centre to restrict direct or indirect Government funding of start-ups to social sectors.