August 21, 2016 6:17:25 am
After failing to find takers for its underutilised Enterpreneur Development Centre (EDC), the Chandigarh Administration has decided to provide the space at the centre free-of-cost to young entrepreneurs interested to set up their businesses.
The benefit will be extended to selected 19 youngsters for the first six months and will be charged a nominal rent threafter. The decision has been taken with an aim to promote local talent emerging out of institutes such as Panjab University (PU), PEC University of Technology and Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET). Set up at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technological park (RGCTP) at a cost of Rs 18 crore, the EDC has a total of 19 bays, out of which as many as 11 bays, which are fully furnished, have been reserved for start-ups while the remaining eight have been kept aside for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At present, only two bays are occupied.
Tough selection criteria
The department has decided do away with the existing policy of giving space at the centre on basis of competitive bidding, which emerged as a hurdle in attracting start-ups due to their limited financial resources.
UT Special Secretary Information Technology SB Deepak Kumar said that the existing policy provided companies to avail space at the centre at low rents, which was not the motive of starting the EDC. “The centre was started for promoting young and local talent,” said Kumar.
He further said that all the 19 bays will be given to young entrepreneurs, who will be invited after a rigorous selection process.
A committee comprising experts from National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and other bodies will be constituted for selection process.
“Bays will be allocated to entrepreneurs with best proposals. No fee will be charged for the first six months. After that, performance of each start-up will be reviewed and based on it, they will be allowed to continue,” he said.
Poorly maintained building
Deepak Chaudhary, who was operating from EDC, rued that the building was not maintained properly and that the air-conditioning system is not effective, making things difficult during peak summers. “The department does not provide any facility to the companies operating from EDC, which is the main reason for such a poor response,” claimed Chaudhary.
The UT engineering department has floated a tender for deployment of technical person for operation running and preventive maintenance of the central air conditioning plant installed at the centre.
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