Rather Hails CII as friend, guide for new building entrepreneurs

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RATHER-4JAMMU – Asking Trade and Industry to get ready for Goods and Service Tax, GST regime a new tax reform being implemented all over the country in near future, the Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather today enjoined upon all the stakeholders to examine the future impact of Good and Services Tax (GST) on the local industry so as to meet the twin objectives of rapid industrial growth and employment generation.
Speaking at a seminar on “Sustainable growth for J&K” organized by the Confederation of India Industry (CII) late last evening at Jammu, the Finance Minister said that the current “J&K State Industrial policy together with its associated “Package of Incentives” is going to expire at the end of the next financial year adding that this expiry period may also perhaps see the replacement of the VAT by much talked about Good and Services Tax at all India level. He suggested that this one year time available needs to be well utilized in examining the future impact of GST on the local Industry and analyzing the gains of the current industrial Policy to conceptualize a crystal clear roadmap for Industrialization of the State.
The Minister for Tourism, Mr. Ghulam Ahmed Mir, was also present on the occasion.
The session on “sustainable growth for J&K “coincided with the annual session (2013-14) of J&K chapter of CII where in its annual electins were also conducted.
A galaxy of leading businessman and industrialists present on the occasion included chairman, CII North Region, Mr Jayant Davar, outgoing Chairman, CII J&K State Council, Mr. Anil Mahajan, Newly elected Chairman, Mr. Asif Iqbal Burza, political secretary to chief Minister, Mr. Tanvir Sadiq, Chairman Chamber of Commerce and Industries CCI, Mr. Y. V Sharma and former Chairman, CII J&K Chapter, Mr. Sanjay Puri.
Mr. Rather said that policy and plan formulators for industrial promotion in J&K should keep in view the geo-graphical location of the State, its remoteness from the main markets and heavy transport costs and focus on Industries having raw material locally available like in horticulture, wool, leather and minerals besides manufacturing of low weight high value items such as precision engineering and exploitation of high skills of the youth in the fields like electronics and information technology. He said more than a third of State’s GSDP is estimated to be annually spent on the items purchased from outside State and about a third of that expenditure is incurred on procurement of items of food and related items. He said “On the earning side, only two items are worth mentioning. Firstly, the fresh and dry fruit, of which about 40% is transported outside the State in bulk sales. This includes earning of nearly Rs. 200 crore worth of foreign exchange on export of dry fruits, mainly Walnut. The second is the production of handicrafts items worth about Rs. 2000 crore annually. Nearly 75% of the handicrafts production is finding its way into the export market. “The production and export of Jammu Basmati Rice is an upcoming item which has great potential to add to the earning of the State”, Mr. Rather added.
Listing some measures taken by the Government for promotion of Industries in the State, Mr. Rather said that specialized Industrial areas are being set-up which include textile park, an electronic complex, few food processing parks, a leather processing park, a silk park, a handloom park, a cluster of cricket bats and wood based industry and several handicraft and handloom cluster under various schemes of the Union Ministry of Commerce, the Union Ministry of Industrial Promotions and the State plan. He said Government is looking forward for setting up commercial floriculture park, and pharmaceutical park etc in future. He asked the industry to come forward and take advantage of the available facilities in these parks and industrial estates.
Appreciating the role of CII, the Finance Minister said that it has vastly extended its activities to all important fields connected with the industrial growth in the country, ranging from policy formulation, policy research and application, extension of knowledge and awareness, to making improvements in the performance of its individual member units and encouraging entrepreneurship amongst the youth.
He said that the CII J&K State Council is active in spreading awareness about the investment opportunities available in J&K amongst the prospective entrepreneurs. “It works as a friend, philosopher and a guide for the new and budding entrepreneurs”, Mr. Rather added. He said CII also acts as a bridge between the Government organizations which have been assigned the roles of policy makers, promoters and regulators of the industrial activities in the State on one hand; and the old and new entrepreneurs on the other”, Mr. Rather added.
The Tourism Minister also spoke on the occasion and urged the need for creating world class tourism infrastructure in the State to cater to the influx of tourists to J&K and called for Joint efforts to get negative travel adversaries against J&K, removed as early possible.