Startups will be eligible to avail relief measures announced for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Scheme but will have to register as MSMEs on the Udyog Aadhaar portal, government officials told CNBC-TV18.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also clarified on Saturday that startups were eligible for the measures announced for MSME, such as the collateral-free loan with credit guarantee, subordinate debt and equity infusion through the MSME fund of funds.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) officials told CNBC-TV 18 that they have been receiving queries from startups on whether they are eligible.
The official said startups that meet the criteria for MSMEs can register on Udyog Aadhar and avail the benefits.
The government on Wednesday changed the definition of MSMEs to include business units with up to Rs 100 crore of turnover and Rs 20 crore of investment in machinery and equipment.
CNBC-TV 18 had reported that startups now are looking to register as MSMEs to get benefits under the scheme, and in several cases, the push is coming from their investors.
Startups have not received any separate relief or support from the government during the lockdown, and several industry members feel that there could be a lot of casualties in the space without government support.
Currently, startups get support from SIDBI's Rs 10,000 crore Fund of Funds crore that was set up in 2016.
So far, the fund has made a commitment of Rs 3798 crore commitment while Rs 3582 crore have been invested in startups by AIFS under the Fund.