Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Rich are Really Rich

A recent study by the Indian chamber of commerce, ASSOCHAM, found the greatest disparity in India between the rich and the poor exists in Kashmir. Now we have hard data that the amount of the value added tax (VAT) collected in Kashmir exceeds even larger and richer states in India like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Amazing!

JK Realized Highest VAT Revenue in India: Rather

Rising Kashmir News

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir’s VAT revenue has increased to about 41 per cent which is the highest in India,said Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather said here Monday.
“The State Finance department is continuously reviewing its fiscal updates by virtue of which the State’s VAT has increased to about 41 per cent which is highest in the country. This year the total tax revenue has touched a high of Rs. 4800 cr as compared to Rs. 3400 cr during last year,” said Rather.

He was addressing a gathering of chartered accountants at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a building for Jammu and Kashmir branch of Institute of Chattered Accounts of India (ICAI).
Eulogizing the contribution of Chartered Accounts in banking, corporate financial management and tax administration, Rather said their professional advice and expert role in formulation of policies, legislation and standardization and improvements in accounting practices are indispensible for governance in these areas.

Rather said J&K is regular beneficiary of the contribution of Chartered Accountants in updating of audited balance sheets of its public sector undertaking (PSUs) and their help in our VAT administration.

He added that the much needed facility of a building for the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India at Jammu will prove beneficial for the local youth to venture in the field of Chartered Accountancy and updating the knowledge and the acumen of its members.
He said accountancy in a fast changing global business environment is a tough professional challenge and imparting of skills especially relevant for international trade, WTO, GATT etc are not only beneficial for the professionals themselves but also essential for promotion of our International trade and Commerce.
Besides, Economic Advisor to J&K Government, Jalil Ahmad Khan, who was Guest of the Honour, Vice President ICIA, CA. Subodh K. Agrawal Chairman, NIRC, CA. Rajesh Sharma, Convener land and Building Committee, CA. R. K Gupta and Chairman, J&K Branch of ICAI, CA. Ajay Sawhney were also present on the occasion.

Extending best wishes to the ICAI and NIRC, the 2nd largest accounting body in the World, in seeing much greater heights in their profession, which he described sacred and credible profession, the Minister also wished the J&K Brach of prosperous and fulfilling future so that promising locals who want to update their knowledge could be benefited by this facility at their door-steps.

Rather said the Chartered Accountants Act 1949 is among the most self contained and compact pieces of legislation aimed at self regulating the profession of the Chartered Accountants of India in a professional manner.

“It is hard to conceive as to how our nascent economy would have otherwise grown into a world giant of today.”

J. A. Khan highlighted the role of Chartered Accountants in securing public interests as well as in economic welfare, by way of watching and auditing the accounts and updating balance sheets in PSUs.

He said their expertise could also be utilized in the State Government’s ongoing initiatives towards re-structuring of its PSUs to make these profitable.

Vice President of the ICAI and Chairman NIRC of ICAI assured full financial assistance for construction of the State-of-Art building for Chartered Accountant’s fraternity at Jammu.
They said the ICAI has by now developed 122 branches all over the country with an overseas presence as well adding that the membership of the institute has reached to 1.9 lakh with 10 lakh students presently enrolled by the institute.

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