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  • FM addresses 90th Annual General Meeting of FICCI

NEW DELHI: Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu today 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 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 given its geographical location, Jammu and Kashmir could become a hub for forging a new economic linkage in the region between the South and the 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.



Pertinently, besides Dr Haseeb Drabu, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi, Finance Minister of West Bengal, Dr Amit Mitra and Finance Minister of Kerala Dr T M Thomas Isaac were specially invited to address the 2-day Annual General Meeting of FICCI which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi here yesterday. President FICCI, Rahesh C Shah and FICCI General Secretary, Dr Sanjay Baru also addressed the session.

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  • ICOMOS’s 19th General Assembly opens at New Delhi

NEW DELHI: J&K Minister for Finance, Culture, Labour & Employment Dr Haseeb A Drabu said that cultural heritage plays a vital role in our life and keeps us attached with our tradition and beliefs. It is the prime duty of any civilized society to protect and preserve its cultural heritage. Without cultural, historical artefacts, civilization had no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures, he said.

Dr Drabu said this while addressing the dignitaries during the inauguration of the Exhibition, Cultural Heritage Practice in India and release of the Monograph HRIDAY Reflections, at the 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium ICOMOS (Heritage and Democracy), at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. While speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister said that cultural heritage needs to be passed to the future generations and people must realize its importance. He said that people should come forward for their contribution in promoting heritage awareness and love for historical structures among all.


 “Cultural heritage has historical, social, aesthetical and scientific significance thus it is very important to understand and determine its significances for the purpose of its preservation and protection’, the Minister said. He said that it is necessary to improve awareness of cultural heritage and the ethics of its care in study curriculum and to identify the tools that can be developed to help the communities to better understand and conserve their heritage.


 “The best way to preserve our cultural heritage, whatever it may be, is to share it with others. It is our responsibility to keep world history intact for the coming generations so that they have the same opportunities to learn about the past and their own roots as we have”, the Minister said. Dr Drabu said that keeping in mind the present challenging times, conservation of heritage buildings provides a sense of uniqueness and permanence in a fast-changing world for future generations. It plays a critical role in defining the landmark within the heritage area besides, generates revenue and supports the tourism industry.


He said that ICOMOS has remained front runner in promoting the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, built ensembles and sites with its key role to develop common doctrines in the evolution and circulation of ideas and in raising awareness about issues related to heritage conservation.

The Finance Minister said that it’s an exceptional event to meet hundreds of heritage professionals given the diversity of their skills whether archaeologists, architects, urban planners, engineers curators, building conservation professionals, art historians etc. ICOMOS provides great opportunity for heritage professionals and enthusiasts to come together on a common platform to deliberate on various aspects of heritage, conservation and management and also to get a chance to interact with experts and comprehend the emerging issues and case studies, the Finance minister added.

The Minister desired to organise such events in Jammu and Kashmir for promotion of its cultural ethnicity so as to increase the sense of preservation of cultural identity and paving the path for creative entrepreneurs and rejuvenation of the intangible cultural heritage of the state. ICOMOS India has organized 19th General Assembly from 11th to 15th December 2017 with a mission to promote and enhance professionalism in conservation, management planning and development of India’s diverse heritage. More than 1500 delegates from around the world are participating in the events in this Assembly of ICOMOS. 



Among others, Member Parliament Pinaki Misra who is also the Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development, GOI, Director General Archaeological Survey of India Usha Sharma, President ICOMOS Gustavo Araoz and ICOMOS India Rohit Jigyasu, foreign delegates and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

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  • JK Govt acts as Platinum Sponsor of event


NEW DELHI: The 19th General Assembly and scientific symposium, themed   "Heritage & Democracy", of International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) was today formally inaugurated in the auditorium of Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium at New Delhi with an inaugural address by President ICOMOS India, Dr RohiJigyesu. The first ever ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium in India, being organized from 11th to 15th of December 2017, is aimed at to provide great opportunity to promote international co-operation and strengthen understanding thereby creating a robust ecosystem in the field of heritage conservation. The programme is the perfect place to network with world over heritage conservation professionals including architectures, historians, archaeologist and experts for integrating heritage and sustainable urban development by engaging diverse communities for heritage management.


Pertinently, the Jammu and Kashmir Government, Department of Culture, is sponsoring the event as a Platinum sponsor besides being supported by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Government of Bihar and Odisha and key Tourism players. The Directorate of Archives Archaeology and Museums is coordinating other departments of the state like Tourism, Handlooms and Handicrafts for making the best use of the platform. Besides, the Department of Archives Archaeology and Museums has put some of its valuable publications on the display and distribution stalls relevant to the subject like Monuments and Sites, which are receiving high appreciation by the delegates of the nation and abroad. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goyal, was Chief Guest at the event.

The other dignitaries, who expressed their brainstorming ideas on preservation of Monuments and Heritage Sites on the inaugural day, were Gustavo Arazo President ICOMOS, Dr. MechtildRossler Director UNESCO world heritage center Paris, Mr. Shigeru Aoyogi Director and UNESCO representative to INDIA, BHUTAN, MALDIVES AND SRI LANKA, Mr. Stefano De Caro Director General ICCROM. Vijaya Goyal elaborated on the significance of preservation of tangible and intangible heritage of the national and world over and also assured full assistance for the purpose on behalf of the Government.


During the event, renowned heritage professionals and enthusiasts like archaeologists, architects, urban planners, engineers, curators, building conservation professionals, art historians from diverse cultural backgrounds shares and exchanged their brainstorming views and ideas on relevant topics such as Integrating Heritage and Sustainable Urban Development by Engaging Diverse Communities, Role of Cultural Heritage in Building Peace and Reconciliation, Protecting and Interpreting Cultural Heritage in the Age of Digital Empowerment; Culture- Nature Journey, exploring the Complexities of Human Relationships with Natural and Cultural Places under the overarching theme of 'Heritage and Democracy'.

They emphasized the necessity to save the heritage and culture throughout the globe rising above religion and politics and overcoming all the obstacles like resource crunches, financial support connectivity etc. The speakers also stressed upon the need of incorporating heritage related curriculum in schools, colleges and universities besides involving public private partnership and assistance of volunteers in such activities. It was also impressed upon that there should be a coordination and relationship between all the Government and Private Institution besides NGOs throughout the globe to preserve heritage and make the planet beautiful. Gurmeet Sanga Ray, in her vote of thanks, expressed her special thanks for Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and Orissa for sponsoring the symposium.