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"If Ratan Tata Can Be a VC, So Can Other PSUs" Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan highlights the initiatives taken by the current government to encourage more start-ups in the oil exploration and production sector

By Sunil Pol

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With several regulations, the start-ups are given different time-span for presenting their proof of concept. Tech start-ups will be given 30 months and start-ups with business ideas will be given 18. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, elaborates more on government's initiative for encouraging more start-ups in the oil exploration and production sector.

Why Collaborate With the PSUs?

Exclusively PSUs have invested around INR 40 crore of equity in these 36 start-ups. The Petroleum Ministry had asked PSUs that if Ratan Tata can turn out to be the venture capitalist then why can't they also invest as VC funds.

Any Other Support for the Startups?

Recently, we have tied up with IIT Delhi for incubating start-ups. Moreover, we connect start-ups to incubation centers at different colleges and IITs across the country.

What about Any Sort of Capital Allocation?

Since 1980, the sector has witnessed investment worth $80 billion. We are about to invest another $25 billion in the oil and natural gas sector. This investment has already started grounding. Overall a cumulative investment of $40 billion is expected in Indian exploration and production sector in five years.

Is There any Plan to Bring Oil and Diesel Under the GST Mandate?

I am pursuing that to the GST council but in a federal structure we can't thrust the idea on the council which is dominated by states aspirations and they have to take a decision.

Sunil Pol

Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

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