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CII To Set Up Startup Centre Of Excellence In Amaravati


National industry body, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is in the process of establishing a national startup centre at Amaravati, the designated new capital of Andhra Pradesh, to promote non-information technology (IT) entrepreneurship. “This will be the main centre with its spokes in many places across the country. Work on the 10-acre startup centre will commence within the next couple of months," CII Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee told reporters here on Thursday.

CII's newly-elected President Naushad Forbes said the industry body's past president and one of the founders of Infosys, Krish Gopalakrishnan, would lead the national startup centre. The new national startup centre will provide pre-incubation and post-incubation mentoring to foster rural entrepreneurship. The CII is expected to bring in a corpus of between Rs 10 and Rs 15 crore for the centre.

The CII has partnered Tel Aviv University, Harvard University and TiE Silicon Valley for the centre, which will provide mentorship, funding connect, scale-up and market connects to startups.

Stating that CII is also working on setting up a full-fledged university in the new capital region, which will initially focus on humanities and social sciences, Banerjee said discussions were in formative stage with the state government to construct an exhibition-led convention centre on 100-acre in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

According to Forbes, the CII is expecting the Indian economy to grow at eight per cent during the current financial year. “With macro-fundamentals being strong on the back of inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit coming under control, high foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and the interest rates coming down, India's medium-term outlook looks positive. With this background, the CII expects a GDP growth of around eight per cent in 2016-17," he added.

While the other factors might remain constant, this growth is possible based on the simple assumption that there will be normal monsoon this financial year, he said, adding that the industry growth was likely to be around six per cent in 2016-17. “We will see a robust investment cycle getting started this year," he said.

Replying to a query on issues related to the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Forbes said the sole responsibility of getting the Bill passed was with the Opposition parties. “The CII has been working with all the political parties, including the Opposition, in this regard," he said, adding that the CII was expecting the GST roll out to contribute 1.5 per cent to the GDP growth.

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