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Legup to Startups: Karnataka to launch Innovation Authority on Wednesday

Authority will sanction setting up of regulatory sandboxes and can exempt or relax provisions of any state law, says CM Yediyurappa.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 18, 2019, 05.13 PM IST
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In a recent tweet, the IT/BT department said the setting up of the proposed Authority will lead to more investments and jobs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
BENGALURU: The State Government will formally launch Karnataka Innovation Authority on November 20, Wednesday, the last day of the Bengaluru Tech Summit bringing hopes to technology startups working on cutting-edge solutions, some of which may fall in regulatory grey area.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Deputy CM CN Ashwath Narayan will be its chairman and vice chairman, respectively. The main purpose of the official body is to protect consumer-friendly technology businesses that are operating undy hazy regulations.

“I had promised the industry that a legal framework for promoting innovation would be established through a statute. I am happy to inform you that the government has recently set up “Karnataka Innovation Authority” through legislation,” the chief minister said after inaugurating the Bengaluru Tech Summit, here.

“The Authority, headed by me, will sanction setting up of regulatory sandboxes and will have powers to exempt or relax provisions of any law enacted by the State Legislature so as to promote innovation,” Yediyurappa said providing clarity on the Authority.

In a recent chat with ET, Ashwath Narayan said: “We will also have secretaries from different departments, and experts from different sectors.”

The idea to set up the Innovation Authority first came up during the term of Priyank Kharge as IT/BT Minister during the previous Congress regime under Siddaramaiah.

Most innovations that are happening today are not as per the government policies. Technologies are fast changing and the government policies are only trying to catch up. In such an environment, instead of banning a people-friendly business on the grounds that the regulations do not allow it, the Innovation Authority would intervene to come up with a quick policy framework, government sources had said recently.

In a recent tweet, the IT/BT department said the setting up of the proposed Authority will lead to more investments and jobs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

At an interaction with startup entrepreneurs in Bengaluru, last year, the then social welfare minister Kharge had referred to the arrest of a startup entrepreneur who set up India’s first bitcoin ATM in Bengaluru, or earlier crackdown on app-based cab aggregators on the grounds that the MV Act does not provide for them.

“We should come up with policies on priority so that business grows and economic becomes vibrant. For example, bitcoins are traded in restaurants in Bengaluru, and we will need to interact with the government and get a regulatory clarity instead of banning those technologies for which regulations are not yet in place,” he had said in that forum.

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