Petroleum Ministry Launches Rs 320 Cr Startup Fund

Petroleum Ministry Launches Rs 320 Cr Startup Fund

The scheme was launched here with memoranda of understanding (MoU) being signed by 36 startups for partnering with various state-run firms like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and GAIL India, which is India’s largest gas transmission utility.

“The people we are partnering today will establish new benchmarks for India. We have to go for out of the box thinking and disruptive frameworks,” Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at the launch event.

Pradhan, who has recently been elevated to cabinet rank and given additional charge of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said India could not afford to miss out on the ongoing Industrial Revolution 4.0 that signifies the changes being wrought by information technology.

He pointed out that being the third largest energy consumer in the world with an annual oil import bill of Rs 7 lakh crore, India urgently needed to act on import substitution.

“Oil import substitution can best come through alternate fuels, which can only be developed through innovation and new business models,” the minister said.

This programme is based on the premise that “oil and gas companies have the required technical acumen and financial strength to act as venture capitalists to talented entrepreneurs who wish to build businesses,” he added.

Some of the innovative projects that signed the partnership with the ministry include for developing multiuse fuel from agri-waste, remotely operated vehicles for underwater inspections, converting waste plastic to high value fuels, electronic leak detector for LPG and solar cookers.

Echoing the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the launch of the ‘Start-up India’ initiative in January 2016, Pradhan said that it is now time for the new generation, with their fund of knowledge, talent and risk-taking ability, to become job-givers as entrepreneurs instead of being job-seekers. Various Ministries of the Government of India have initiated a number of activities as part of this initiative to create a conducive environment for start-ups in the country. The overwhelming response to the Start-up India initiative from across the nation reiterates the fact the there is an immense talent pool within the country that needs to be nurtured, he added.

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Speaking on the occasion, Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Aayog, said that Indian start-ups were earlier migrating abroad but, after the launch of the Start-up India scheme, most of them are relocating to India. “I am delighted that the Petroleum Ministry has taken up this initiative as innovation & technology can create major breakthroughs in the technology and capital-intensive petroleum industry. The oil & gas industry is one of the major contributors to the Indian economy and, therefore, start-ups can play a big role in boosting the same,” he added.

K D Tripathi, Petroleum Secretary said that the oil & gas PSUs have not only tied up with budding entrepreneurs but also IIMs and IITs to act as mentoring and incubating agencies. While the initial corpus in support of start-up initiatives in the oil & gas domain is about Rs. 320 crore for a period of 3 years, funds are not a constraint and we shall try and extend our support to appealing start-ups in the country, he added.

Addressing the gathering, Ramesh Abhishek, DIPP Secretary said that the Start-up India initiative was launched to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation in the country. Various organisations have come up with new policies, programmes and infrastructure to support start-ups in India. Though much has been done, there is immense potential to do more in this area, he said. Read more

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