The minister said the government has come out with clarifications that startups would not be asked any questions if they are registered with and recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday assured that start-ups will never be harassed and that the government is taking steps to promote them. “I assure you that start-ups will never be harassed. They have to do the limited activity of registering themselves so that good law is not misused by a few people,” he said here at a function.

The minister said the government has come out with clarifications that startups would not be asked any questions if they are registered with and recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

“Few investments which are genuine investments in startups possibly got notice probably seeking some information. I think there is no harm in giving that information,” Goyal said. According to him, there is no such thing called “angel tax”. He said the issue of angel tax came up at first place, “because we have thousands and lakhs of shell companies which the Modi government de-recognised and on which we are taking action, where hawala operators used to create fake equity capital by issuing shares at a huge premium with no business activity at all and using that for money laundering“.

Earlier, several startups made representations to the government about receiving notices from the Income Tax Department. They had claimed it was getting difficult for them to operate when the taxman was breathing down their neck.

The government launched the ‘Startup India‘ initiative on January 16, 2016, to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship. It also provided them with certain tax benefits and other incentives.