India woke up late on start-ups, says Pranab

A day before the launch of Start Up India initiative, President Pranab Mukherjee said India has "woken up" too late on encouraging new entrepreneurs and owned up responsibility for the delay, noting that he had been a finance minister earlier.

"I cannot pass on the buck to anybody. I will have to take the buck to myself because I was in administration too long, " he told a group of leading Silicon Valley CEOs, entrepreneurs, technologists and venture capitalists.

He appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the initiative. "Some of you have correctly pointed out that they (new entrepreneurs) feel confident, they want to do. It is the job of the government to create the policy environment to encourage entrepreneurship. We have taken too long but nonetheless we have taken that decision.

We have woken up," he said, referring to the 'Start-Up' campaign which is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship at grassroots level.Mukherjee said, “we have people with great competence and talent but unless we create the appropriate ambience to promote entrepreneurship and risk-taking ability, we may not be able to achieve the intended benefits. Mere political freedom, if not backed by economic freedom, will not solve the problems of the country’s vast multitude of people.”

He stated that “there are chances that out of every 100 new enterprises, if 30 are bound to succeed, one has to be prepared that 60 may be bound to die and 10 would be in the grey area i.e. they may succeed or may not succeed.” Mukherjee said it was technology and entrepreneurship that will drive our country’s production to optimum levels.

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