Huge opportunities have been opened up for the private sector with the government opening up all areas of industry in the 2021 Union Budget. No areas are reserved only for the public sector, said the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Monday.

Presenting “Startup Dhruv Awards” at a function organised by the StartUps Academy, she said the public sector will be present in strategically important and national security related sectors, but the private sector can also participate.

In 1991, with the Balance of Payment crisis, the economy was opened up, but only in some sectors. It was a compulsion to open up the economy then.

However, to unleash the natural capabilities and strengths in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a policy change was needed.

Support for MSMEs

This decision was announced in the 2021 Union Budget and now all sectors are opened up for private sector participation. Anticipating that only largescale operations may happen with this too, and since MSMEs are the “real big strength” of the country and are the backbone of the economy, MSMEs are supported.

While Bengaluru and Hyderabad are start-up centres, start-ups in places such as Coimbatore should use Web3 world, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, to bring efficiencies in all sectors.

“Coimbatore start-ups should take the lead in this,” she said.

Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, Chairman and Managing Director of Lakshmi Machine Works, said Tamil Nadu is the manufacturing engine of the country.

Defence Corridor

The Defence Corridor here is an opportunity for traditional industries and start-ups to make use of the opportunities in the Defence sector and scale up, he said. President of the Academy G Karthikeyan said India’s start-up ecosystem is the third largest globally. In 2021, the country saw 44 start-ups turn unicorns.

The Startup Dhruv awards included Superstar Award for Juicy Chemistry, which is into beauty and personal care products; Rising Star Award for iamneo, which combines human and machine intelligence to provide edtech solutions; and She Star Award for Health Basix, working towards transforming paediatric healthcare.