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Election Results: Startup ecosystem to restart talks on a range of issues with Modi government

Stakeholders in the startup ecosystem have also been clamouring for greater clarity on the FDI in ecommerce policy, which was implemented in February earlier this year.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 23, 2019, 03.50 PM IST
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NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Startups are preparing to restart conversations around multiple issues with the Narendra Modi-led government, as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance gets set to retain power by a huge margin for a second time.

The top issues on the agenda include listing norms for startups, dual-class share structure, clarity on revised e-commerce rules and status of the Aadhaar ordinance on data authentication. They are expected to hold consultations with policy makers, ministries and government institutions at the earliest.

“Once the new government takes office, we are ready to begin consultations. The moment the swearing-in ceremony is done, we will be ready to swing into action,” said Rameesh Kailasam, chief executive of IndiaTech, a consumer internet-focused advocacy group.

IndiaTech has been leading efforts to establish a listing norm for startups and is also pushing for differential voting rights, which will allow founders to maintain control even if their shareholding is in the single- to low double-digit range.

The Prime Minister’s Office had sought recommendations from stakeholders and held a meeting on the issue last month. Stakeholders have also asked for greater clarity on the revised FDI rules for ecommerce firms that were implemented in February.

Big etailers like Amazon and Flipkart had to restructure their businesses to comply with the new rules. Once the new government is formed, closed-door meetings with industry players are expected to begin, sources close to the development told ET.

The government could unveil a second draft e-commerce policy if there is a need to dilute some data sharing clauses, they said. Angel tax is another worry. The government gave exemptions from angel tax after lobbying by startups, investors and industry bodies, but the issue has not been completely resolved.

“This was the last item on our list of demands from the government, with respect to solving the angel tax issue. We had been given a commitment of 45 days to fix this from the CBDT, which has not been done and startups have started getting notices,” said Sachin Taparia, founder and CEO of LocalCircles, an online citizen engagement platform.

Startups have also urged the government to converting the Aadhaar ordinance into law. While the government has taken first steps, the process needs to be speeded up, they say.

“Aadhaar is a universal issue for the fintech startups; the new government could do well by converting the current ordinance into law,” said Naveen Surya, chairman, Fintech Convergence Council, an industry body for fintech companies.

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