NPC to extend deadline for capital grant proposal

KATHMANDU, JUNE 10

Due to the unfavourable situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, the National Planning Commission (NPC) is planning to extend the deadline for new start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs to submit their proposal for capital grant.

On May 11, NPC had issued a first notice calling for proposals for capital grant for start-ups and new entrepreneurs.

An NPC official said that the commission is mulling over extending the deadline for submitting the proposal, which is expiring tomorrow (June 11) as the response has only been lukewarm due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As per the suggestion from the experts, we are going to extend the deadline to submit the proposal,” informed the source.

On February 22, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had released the ‘Innovation Start-up Capital Grant Guidelines, 2020’, with an aim to promote entrepreneurship in the country and especially those entrepreneurs who plan to develop high-quality inventions or systems by utilising new technologies through limited resources.

The government has introduced a new plan to provide up to Rs five million in grant to such potential innovators.

MoF has said the grant will be given to innovators, including entrepreneurs, businesspersons or institutions, who want to establish new ventures.

Earlier, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had announced about launching such a programme in the budget for the ongoing fiscal year. However, the guideline was finalised only eight months after the budget announcement.

During the announcement, Minister Khatiwada had said the government would allocate funds every year in the budget to promote innovative works.

According to the guidelines, the government will provide an entrepreneur up to 50 per cent of the total investment required.

However, the grant amount shall not exceed Rs five million.

As per the guidelines, inventors with innovative knowledge, skills and expertise in sectors such as information technology, agriculture, energy, health care, tourism, and job creation through new innovations will receive the grant.

The grant will be provided in three instalments — the first after the enterprise has been initiated; the second based on the progress and the third after completion of the project.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 11, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.