Dire Need of Policy Intervention in Promoting Kashmir Craftsmanship: FinMin Dr Drabu




Minister for Finance and Culture, Dr Haseeb A Drabu, Monday said that he would keep a separate provision in the next budget for establishment of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) branch in J&K.

“I assure you that separate budgetary provision would be kept for the establishment of ICSSR branch in Jammu and Kashmir,” Dr Drabu said while replying to the plea made by Dean School of Social Sciences and Head of the Department Economics Central University of Kashmir (CUK), Prof G M Bhat, seeking setting up of the Research institute branch in J&K. ICSSR, Chairperson, Prof Sukhadeo Thorat seconded Dr Drabu saying that modalities for establishment of the Research Institute would be discussed with the State Government on priority.

Dr Drabu made these remarks while addressing the valedictory function of the  57th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) organized by the Department of Economics, CUK, in association with Division of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, SK University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and Jammu and Kashmir Bank at Agriculture University auditorium, a CUK statement said Monday late evening.

He appreciated CUK and SKUAST-K for holding the conference and asked the delegates to give a positive message about Kashmir to the people outside state. “I am trying to convince corporate to hold their board meetings in the valley which would send a strong and positive message to the people outside about Kashmir,” he said.

Commenting on the theme of the conference, Dr Drabu said that 93 per cent of the workforce in India was still unorganized and 91 per cent of the occupation was skill based. He said that there should be an agency which could oversee the demand and supply of labourers in the country.

Dr Drabu underscored the need of providing monetary, technical and other allied support to the artisan community so that they could grow and develop their traditional business and become employment providers. “There’s is a dire need of policy intervention in promoting the craftsmanship in Kashmir,” he added.

ISLE Honorary Secretary, Prof Preet Rustagi, in her address, termed the conference as a remarkable event and said that more than 500 delegates from across the country and other parts of the globe were part of the deliberations held on the issues pertaining to labourers. She said that more than 200 research papers were presented during 10 technical sessions and five panels discussions and three memorial lectures were also held during the three-day event.

Professor of Economics in Centre for Study of Regional Development, JNU and President, 57th ISLE Conference, Prof. Ravi Shankar Srivastava, while speaking on the occasion gave a resume of the deliberations held on three selected themes: Unpaid work, The right to work and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee ACT (MGNERGA) and Labour and Employment in Manufacturing Sector.  He said, the papers presented by the research scholars were of best quality and reflected the factual position vis-à-vis the labour market.

ICSSR, Chairperson, Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, in his address highlighted the discrimination in wages faced by labourers on account of caste, ethnicity and religion. “The inter-grouping inequality with respect to labourers is rampant across the country and the issue should be discussed threadbare in the forthcoming conferences of ISLE,” he said. According to Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, “the labourers are receiving wages not on the basis of their workmanship, but on their identities.”

He also accused the private sector of discriminating with job aspirants and stated that the recruitment process undertaken by majority of the companies and industries “remain hidden.”


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