- Finance Min. clears up red tape bottleneck for local startups to bid for software procurements
The Finance Ministry yesterday rectified regulations to enable local startups to bid for Government procurement software applications where the estimated cost is less than Rs. 2 million.
A new circular issued by the Finance Ministry sought to rectify discrepancies in an earlier version to give exclusive bidding rights to local start-ups.
In order to rectify certain discrepancies that exist between the Sinhala version and the English version, the sub paragraph 2.1.1. of the paragraph 2.1 of the Public Finance circular No. 03/2020 dated 09.10.2020 issued on the above subject, the English version of the above circular is amended as follows, the circular said.
“In calling for bids for the procurement of application software, where the estimated cost is less than Rs. 2 million, such bids shall be called exclusively from startups, those who are registered with the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and published in the website https://startups1.1k.”
“For the purpose of recognition as startups under this section of the circular, startups are those that have been registered as businesses with relevant authority for period more than six months and less than five years and also registered on the https://startupsl.lk."
The newly-established Council for Startups recently said that as much as 25% of startups had folded during 2020 due to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Releasing a report, the Council said the pandemic resulted in about 100 ventures shutting down for good out of the 400-plus new startups that were having steady operations. About 50% of the startups that survived did so because they were self-funded. It warned that if the same difficulties persisted there would be more closures in 2021.