Drabu invites india INC to Kashmir


Srinagar, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday called for proactive engagement of major corporate houses from across the country with Jammu and Kashmir to channelize substantive investment to the State.

“There is tremendous scope for investment in potential sectors of strength like energy, horticulture, handloom and handicrafts, biotechnology, food processing, tourism, information technology, education, skill development and sports in J&K which have strong inter-linkages with the other sectors,” Dr Drabu said while addressing the 90th Annual General Meeting of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here this morning.

He said J&K also has the potential for becoming a Special Educational Zone for foreign universities and Special Economic Zone for exquisite Handicrafts and Sports Goods besides attracting investment for setting up a Dry Port and Cold Chain.

“I would request you to start engaging with J&K and its people, to help us put the State on a faster path of development and growth,” Dr Drabu told the business tycoons from India Inc present at the meeting.

He said FICCI can help in tourism promotion in the State by organizing various high-profile events and also facilitate building physical and digital connectivity and market linkages. “Given its network, FICCI can also help the state to strategize connectivity and infrastructure development for creation of wealth in the areas of social, economic and ecological enterprises in J&K,” he said.

Dr Drabu said, Jammu and Kashmir could become a hub for forging a new economic linkage in the region between the South and  Central Asia. “There is a convergence of views on varied issues and interests between the Central Asian Republics and India, including promoting economic, scientific and cultural cooperation in the region,” Dr. Drabu said adding that given its historic links with Central Asia, J&K can become a surface transport passage for reviving traditional economic linkages in the region.

Referring to implementation of GST, Dr Drabu said there may be operational and technical issues involved in the implementation of the new tax regime, but it has federalized the Indian economy and has transformed the business ethics in the country.

He called for doing away with the MRP (maximum retail price) under the GST regime.“MRP is from a pre-liberalized era. We need to now abolish MRP as it has become redundant under GST regime,” Dr Drabu said.

He also suggested that composition scheme for small businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1 crore should be tweaked to allow some input tax credit.

“Larger companies are not buying from small businesses due to lack of input tax credit,” he noted.

He also called for bringing back the reverse charge mechanism under GST that has been deferred till March.

Meanwhile the spokesman said, Minister for Finance, Dr Drabu and Tassaduq Mufti, Coordinator, J&K Chief Minister’s Grievance cell on Wednesday also visited the Heritage Exhibition organized by the Department of Archeology, Archives & Museums, and J&K Govt on the sidelines of the 19th General Assembly of ICOMOS at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi road here.

It is for the first time that ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) General Assembly is being held in India. The objective of the event was to provide an opportunity to promote international cooperation for creating a robust ecosystem for heritage conservation.

Dr Drabu visited various stalls established by the Department of Archeology, Archives & Museums and expressed satisfaction over showcasing of the heritage and archaeological treasure of the state at the international level through ICOMOS.

In a statement spokesman said, Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums,  Zahid briefed the Finance Minister about various activities undertaken by the Department during the international event.