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Home » IANS » Space Fund, GST scrap, clear licensing norms request space startups

Space Fund, GST scrap, clear licensing norms request space startups

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Chennai, Aug 21 (IANS) Setting up of fund to finance space startups; scrapping of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on launch of Indian satellites; a clear licensing guideline and single window clearance and simplified usage of facilities owned by Indian space agency are some of the views submitted by the Space Federation of India (SpaceFed) to the government.

The SpaceFed, an industry association for private sector players in the space sector has submitted a compendium of views of startups and small, medium enterprises operating in the space sector.

The central government has recently announced reforms in the space sector and the setting up of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) as the regulatory body for the private players in the sector.

Citing the allocation of funds to 112 agri-tech startups by the Ministry of Agriculture, SpaceFed has asked the Department of Space to set up a space fund to invest in emerging space startups as equity or give the funds as a grant.

The industry body has also requested the centre to remove GST for launch of satellites manufactured in India by Indian rockets which would increase the competitiveness of Indian satellite manufacturers in the global marketplace.

The lobby body has also asked the government to create a focused programme to strategically fund and support home-grown solutions which can replace current imports and enable development of new critical technologies or materials.

Some of the other requests made to the government by SpaceFed are:

*Active Start-up/SME participation in government policy and decision making bodies.

*Start-up/SME Composition of INSPAC-e Board and Evaluation Committee.

*Co-development and co-funding of high stakes projects between SMEs and IN-SPACe.

*Simplified usage of ISRO facilities with an online portal for requisitioning, booking and approvals.

*Start-ups to be charged minimally/actual cost basis on consumables and minimum insurance fee where there is concern on usage of expensive equipment.

*IN-SPACe should work with industry in establishing clear guidelines to enable minimal premium for insuring private space activities from testing to operations and shall fix an upper cap in advance.

*Open up ISRO infrastructure/facilities or establish separate rocket test zones to conduct model, amateur and experimental rocketry events, activities and competitions.

*Establishing clear licensing guidelines and provide single window clearance for all licensing requirements including, but not limited to Launch, Spectrum, Operating Satellites/Ground stations etc.

*Clearly defined timelines for responses on clearance/next steps via a portal.

*Communication System providers should also be allowed to set up ground stations in India in a seamless manner for enabling more robust in-space testing.



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