New Delhi: Internet giant Google on Wednesday launched a low-cost scheme to help small Indian businesses start their own websites as the country’s booming economy increasingly moves online.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh (C), with Nikesh Arora (L), president - global sales operations and business development of Google and vice-president Rajan Anandan launching a nationwide initiative to help small & medium businesses in India, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Registry costs and all technological support on building the website would be free for a year before monthly pay-as-you-go fees kick in.

“The initiative aims to break down the barriers that stop small businesses from getting online by offering a quick, easy and free tool to set up and host a website," Google said in a press release.

It said it would take only 15 minutes to register and get online with an .in domain name.

Just 5% of India’s eight million small and medium-sized businesses have websites, Google said, adding that it hoped 500,000 firms would get online through its programme within three years.

“Businesses often believe that getting online is too complex, costly and time-consuming," Google said.