ITC Entry: For Investments, J&K Changing Laws, says FinMin Drabu

Riyaz ul Khaliq

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

ITC COO presenting a memento to Dr Haseeb Drabu.
ITC COO presenting a memento to Dr Haseeb Drabu.

J&K Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu is suggestive of up-grading the shareholding between Corporate India and local businesses to stake-holding so that it offers a firm base for improved investments and sustainability.

“It is only then that you will be able to have a partnership that is sustainable,” Drabu said in his brief intervention at the foundation-laying ceremony of the ITC hotel in the erstwhile Nedou’s premises on M A Road. “It is important that in this partnership that a local partner is taken on-board, gets value out of it not necessarily monetary values but in terms of stake in the whole system.” Otherwise, Drabu said, it would not be a sustainable partnership.

Drabu said the government is working on this front and will change laws, regulations and the attitude towards investments.

Finance Minister said the local businesses are family held and small and may not grow beyond a point unless they have exposure, direction and in certain cases hand holding. ITC, he said, can show the way.

Given the policy nature of Drabu’s brief speech, here is the entire intervention reproduced.

“One level is the local management or a local ownership with a national company. Another level is a partnership of a promoter, family driven organization with a diversified professionally managed company. It is also a relationship much more than investments. It is very important for us to nurture these so that we build some confidence for others to venture where ITC has ventured. It is actually wonderfully that they have come here with plans of investment and I hope this investment goes beyond the strategy sector to ecology and other sectors.

There are number of things which we as government are trying to do is to make J&K an investment destination by having laws, regulations or there is the whole attitude towards investments (so that investments) become more easier and better. Because one thing is for sure that we will not be able to inject the economic growth in the state unless we have private investments, particularly now that we know that the government investment model is not the best route.

ITC’s tag line of enduring value, I hope, immediately adds something more to enduring partnerships. It is very important for us to realise that these partnerships would set stage for others provided we go beyond the family and the company.

I think what is important and I would like to emphasize on this is ITC and other companies which are investing in J&K must go beyond share holdership to stake holdership in the system. It is only then that you will be able to have a partnership that is sustainable.

It is important that in this partnership that a local partner is taken on-board, gets value out of it not necessarily monetary values but in terms of stake in the whole system. Otherwise it would not be a sustainable partnership. Because what we do want to see in the years to come is genuine, equitable partnership in management, in ownership and also in terms of how to grow an enterprise.

The biggest challenge that I see in our corporates (in J&K) is that they are small, they remain stunted and they don’t grow beyond a point.

What ITC as India’s most admired company and professionally so diversified company could bring to the entire eco system of the investments of the state is: how do small family run enterprises grow into big businesses? That is where I think you would have made a lot of contribution.

I am very glad to be here, to be part of a process of what I see a huge opportunity for all of us to grow for the state to prosper.”

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