Govt studying economic, tourism impact of Grand Kerala Shopping Festival.

KOCHI: State government is conducting a study to quantify the economic and tourism impact of Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF), a government-supported marketing and sales initiative being conducted across the state for the past six years.

As part of the study, Thiruvananthapuram-based Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT), formerly known as the Centre for Taxation Studies, has taken up a six-week study three days ago, banking on a questionnaire-based survey on businessmen. The sixth edition of GKSF had begun on December 15, 2012 and will end on January 31, 2013.

The Department of Tourism is spending Rs 25 crore on each edition of GKSF, which was able attract 6,000 shops to partner with the event.

"We have taken up the evaluation of GKSF, and as part of it, we have visited the Global Village. The state government has spent quite a lot of money on developing the shopping festival and hence it is time to check whether GKSF has created additional employments in the local community while contributing to the state's economy," said D Narayana, director of GIFT.

Narayana and his colleague N Ramalingam are also planning to collect data with the help of the large alumni association of GIFT, who currently work as chartered accountants in different parts of the state.

"The Global Village, as the first attempt to market Kerala products, is a success," commented U V Jose, director of GKSF. "On an average, the Global Village has attracted 15,000 visitors on weekdays and 20,000 on weekends. Out of the 60 stalls in the food court, there were at the least 10 with daily revenues in excess of Rs 50,000," he added. Weaves, the pavilion for Kerala handloom, has attracted the maximum number of customers.

The total expense of GKSF is estimated to be Rs 60 crore, of which a major part is raised through sponsorships. Departments of finance, industries, commerce, and local self government are also involved in the running of the festival.

ICAI proposes advanced IT training for CA students

Advanced IT course for students who have registered for chartered accountants (CA) course after August 1 will now be compulsory.

This advanced IT course of 150-hour duration will supplement 100 hours of IT course that they need to undergo prior to joining article ship and will deal with software such as Oracle, SAP, ERP.

They need to undergo this training in the third year of their article ship or practical training for the CA course. Disclosing this to reporters on the sidelines of a two-day state-level CA students' conference organised by SIRC of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Vijay Kumar, director, board of studies of ICAI, said the institute is keen on imparting both soft skills and IT skills to CA students' to enable them to keep pace with fast paced changes.

The ICAI has 150 computer labs with 6,000 plus computers and training is imparted across India.

Chartered accountants will emerge as value drivers.

Accountancy as a profession traces its origin to more than 9,000 years as references to it can be found in early civilization, epics like Manu Smriti, Vedas, and Arthashastra and Mughal literature. Regulating this profession in India is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) which was formed as an autonomous body with powers to regulate the profession of accountancy in India and to foster education and training to its students.

Source: TOI Newspaper.