Economist Drabu joins PDP

‘Want to participate and contribute to the movement for change’

MUDDASIR ALI
Publish Date: Jul 2 2014 12:00PM

Srinagar, July 1: Noted economist and former Economic Advisor to J&K government, Dr Haseeb Drabu Tuesday joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Drabu, who has held several key positions in the state government and has been part of many initiatives by New Delhi on J&K, was welcomed into the PDP by the party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and the president Mehbooba Mufti.
“I have earlier had the occasion to work with and for the people of J&K. Not only was it professionally an absolute privilege but also personally it was by a long way most satisfying. I want to participate and, to the extent that I can, contribute, to this overall change by working within aegis of the PDP (and) I do hope you will provide me the opportunity to do so,” Drabu wrote in his 3-page letter to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, expressing his wish to work with them.
Welcoming Drabu into the party Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said the entry of professionals like him into PDP indicated the “positive impact this party has made among the intelligentsia”.
Sayeed recalled Drabu’s stint in the State Government as Economic Advisor during PDP-Congress rule saying the noted economist had “ably assisted the state in its post 2002 economic reconstruction and financial restructuring”.
“He played important role in all major economic initiatives like the PM’s reconstruction programme, ADB financing, establishment of ERA and grooming local enterprise,” said Sayeed.
Drabu would take active plunge into politics ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections was known in political circles for quite some time. His close association with the PDP leadership is also a known fact.
Giving the context of his joining the politics, Drabu, in his letter mentions that for the past 60 years life in Kashmir has been a “battlefield, not only physically but intellectually, emotionally and morally”.
Terming Kashmir issue as “Gordian knot” which can’t be cut through like the fabled one, Drabu said it has to be untied with political wisdom, economic vision and social emancipation, all within the framework of “ethno-nationalism”.
“This is what, I believe, PDP has articulated in its document - Self Rule - A Framework for Resolution. Through political participation and legislative interventions the idea should be to alleviate the status of the state legislative assembly from being seen as a sinecure for the compromised to being a forum for the creative political thinking, empowered legislative action and inclusive governance initiatives,” Drabu mentions in the letter.
Drabu’s entry in the PDP fold is being seen as a shot in the arm for the party which is already upbeat given its performance in Lok Sabha polls.

Haseeb Drabu – A profile
DR Haseeb A Drabu is a professional economist who has closely worked with State Government and has been involved with national economic policy making in the government of India at the highest level, including the Planning Commission, Finance Commission and the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister.
He has worked as the Economic Advisor to the Government of J&K and headed J&K Bank as Chairman and Chief Executive for five years.
At present he is advising a clutch of top Indian corporate houses on the macroeconomic situation, emerging businesses and risk management.
Drabu is a regular commentator on economic issues and writes a fortnightly column for Wall Street Journal partner in India, the business daily, Mint and weekly column 'Back to Basics' for Greater Kashmir.
He has been associated with government and corporate policy making in various capacities and was a member of Prime Minister’s Task Force on the Long-term Development, Planning Commission’s Working Group on Resources for the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Consultant Asian Development Bank on reforms and reconstruction in J&K, member of Commission on Centre-State Relations and Expert Group on ‘Promotion of Diversity in living, education and workspaces for the minorities” formed by Government of India.
Drabu has worked as National Editor, Business Standard, Consultant 10th Finance Commission, Consultant Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India, Consultant Planning Commission of India. Drabu’s areas of expertise include Macro and Monetary Policy, Banking and Finance Operations, Fund Management, Corporate Advisory, Business Journalism.
At state level he has been Chairman, Committee on Power Tariff Structure for Industry, Chairman, Committee on Cross-border Trade, Chairman Committee on Employment Generation, Chairman, Committee for Restructuring of J & K State PSUs, Chairman Committee for Tax Reforms, Chairman Committee for formulation of domestic and International trade Policy, Member Task Force for preparing an IT Vision Document for J&K, and Member Taskforce on Unique Identification Project of J&K.
Drabu's first policy stint with the government of J&K was as member of the Godbole committee appointed by the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1997.


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