General Elections 2024: BJP Promises Enhanced Funding for Start-Ups, Expanding ONDC and More

The BJP's 2024 manifesto promises enhanced ONDC adoption for traders, expanded start-up funding schemes, and e-Shram assistance for gig workers. Read this article to know more. 
General Elections 2024: BJP Promises Enhanced Funding for Start-Ups, Expanding ONDC and More

The 2024 general elections are finally over. The BJP-led NDA couldn’t get the 400 seats that it was expecting and settled for 293 seats. Meanwhile, the Congress-led INDIA alliance had a tough fight with 232 seats.

It’s expected that Narendra Modi will form the government for the third time. From good governance to ease of doing business, expectations of start-ups are at an all-time high from the new government.

Underlying the importance of start-ups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India currently has the third-largest start-up ecosystem globally. While there were only a few hundred businesses in India in 2014, the number of registered start-ups has increased to over 1.25 lakh now, he added.

On that note, the BJP also promised a set of promises for start-ups in their manifestos. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, on April 19, the BJP released its manifesto, 'Modi ki guarantee' Sankalp Patra. With a pledge to make India a developed country, the manifesto promised a wide range of measures, from empowering youths to women and farmers.

Enhancing ONDC

The 76-page manifesto says that it will encourage small-scale traders and MSMEs to adopt the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is an initiative designed to foster open networks for the exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic platforms. It relies on open-source methodology, utilizing open specifications and network protocols that operate independently of any particular platform.

Paytm, PhonePe, Craftsvilla, Growth Falcon, eSamudaay, and Amazon are some of the platforms that have onboarded ONDC. With the aim of scaling up operations, Amazon and Flipkart were also asked by the Center to set up ONDC storefronts on their home pages, as per a report by the Economic Times.

Read: As Modi 3.0 Comes To Power, Here Is What Start-Ups Demand For

Focus on start-up funding

With the aim of ensuring adequate funding for Indian start-ups, the BJP also promised to expand the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme and Startup Credit Guarantee Scheme. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has created the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with an outlay of Rs 945 crore to provide financial assistance to start-ups for proof-of-concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and commercialisation.

Read: Government Seeks Corporate, Unicorn Support for Manufacturing Start-Up Incubators: Report

Similarly, the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) aims to finance qualifying borrowers by offering credit guarantees, up to a certain maximum, against loans issued by member institutions.

Gig workers on e-Shram

To let gig workers avail themselves of various programs, the BJP manifesto says that it will help gig workers onboard the e-Shram. E-Shram is a national database of unorganized workers that includes gig workers, construction workers, and migrant workers.

By 2029–30, the gig-worker force in India is expected to be 23.5 million. Most e-commerce platforms, such as Flipkart, Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, and Urban Company, are a source of employment for lots of gig workers.

According to a Nasscom survey, 84 per cent of firms are considering or are open to gig models, with start-ups and the business process management (BPM) industry leading the way in the hiring of gig workers.

Similarly, in their election manifesto, the Congress pledged to restructure the Fund of Funds Scheme for start-ups and aim to distribute 50 percent of the available funds equally across all districts, as far as possible, to support youth under 40 in starting businesses and generating employment. The Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) Scheme, established in 2016 with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore, is funded over the 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles based on implementation progress to significantly boost the Indian start-up ecosystem.

Additionally, the party promised to abolish the "Angel Tax" and other exploitative tax schemes that hinder investment in new micro, small, and innovative start-ups. An angel tax is levied on the excess premium paid by angel investors when investing in start-ups.

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