The minister refused to take sides, but said that no startup or vendor is above the law.

You cannot say you will not pay Ktaka IT Minister says startups too have to follow rules
Atom Stayzilla Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 16:24

Following increasing pressure from the startup community and industry bodies to intervene in the ongoing battle between Stayzilla and one of its vendors, Karnataka’s IT Minister Priyank Kharge said on Saturday that no industry is above the law and that everyone including startups and vendors should function within the parameters. Anybody raising money should pay up, he said.

Kharge told PTI that the controversy has been blown out of proportion. “However, the advice I would give in this whole episode is that there are rules and regulations for everyone – whether it is for SMEs, startups or big corporations. If you have raised or taken money, you have to pay up. You cannot say I will not pay,” he added.

Stayzilla founder and CEO Yogendra Vasupal was arrested on March 14 for non-payment of dues to Aditya CS of Jig Saw Advertising Solutions. He has since not been able to secure bail, and his family and colleagues have said that there were deficient services on the side of Jig Saw.

But Kharge is not taking sides. “As I am a part of the government, I have to support entrepreneurs in all fields and hence I cannot take either the side of Stayzilla or Jigsaw,” he said.

But Karge disagrees with industry captains who say that this episode is putting the startup ecosystem in danger. “Innovation cannot be suppressed. Startup is all about innovation and ideations. You are saying that because of Stayzilla incident 7,000-odd startups will shut shop? Not a single one will close,” he said, according to PTI.

“Valuation is a flawed business model if you ask me. This discount-based model adopted by some e-commerce giants is basically to get as many people addicted to you. They are formulae to woo customers by offering discounts,” he added.

“If you owe somebody money or there’s a violation of rules I cannot say – if he or she is running a startup, therefore please let him free. Can we endorse Vijay Mallya?” Kharge questioned.

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