85th Annual General Meeting of The Oriental Chamber of Commerce

Oriental Chamber Of Commerce, one of the top Chamber Of Commerce & Industry in Kolkata inaugurated its 85th Annual General Meeting and discussed the economic scenario of India, new developments in West Bengal after Bengal Summit, women empowerment and the role of Kanyasree, urban development, re-thinking of FRDI bill, future aspect of leather & footwear industry, export industry in West Bengal. The prestigious occasion was graced by present Minister-in-Charge, Urban Development & Municipal Affairs, Govt. of West Bengal Janab Firhad Hakim, FIEO President Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, FICCI President Mr Reshesh C. Shah, Padmashree M. Rafique Ahmed, Chairman, Council of Leather Exports and other delegates.


While talking about the present economic scenario Mr Sajahan Biswas, president of The Oriental Chamber of Commerce, said that “Global growth prospects remain moderate in 2017 but, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it is anticipated that India will grow to 7.4% in FY 2019 against 6.7% this year and will gain pace to reach to 7.8% in FY 2020”.


  • Highlights of the Annual General Meeting:


West Bengal in Present Economic scenario:  It was also discussed that, West Bengal is India’s sixth largest economy and the Gross Value Added (GVA) of West Bengal registered a 10.48 % growth in the year 2014-15 ahead of the country’s GVA growth of 7.5 %, which is significant. The reform measures initiated by the State Govt. have increased compliance through a special drive for settlement of entry tax disputes which help in solving pending issues and providing relief to tax payers. These measures will enhance business in the state. The huge debt burden that our State bear are alarming, but own revenue collection of the state will show a robust growth.


West Bengal & Business Summit 2018: Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 held on 16th & 17th January, this year with the vision to establish an image of Bengal – a new, business-ready Bengal. Over the past few years sustained campaign and focus on growth of entrepreneurship in the state by the Government has led to the Start-up culture gaining ground. A special focus is needed for women and rural youth to join this movement and add momentum to the process of industrial growth of the state.

Urban Development: The State Government’s vision on urban development is to provide a better and sustainable living environment in all the urban centres through adequate provision of urban infrastructure and services, not only limited to creation of physical infrastructure but also provision of health facilities and employment opportunities. The emphasis of the state’s urban development policy has been laid to create a livable, responsive, transparent, dynamic, environmentally balanced and investment friendly municipal system under the development authorities like KMDA, GBDA, TRDA, FSDA to cover rapid transformation from agrarian to Urban Economy. For ease of doing business, online system for payment of the property tax launched on pilot basis by present govt. will boost the business in the state. Similarly, various online services for the entrepreneurs in urban local bodies through e-district portal, online approval of industrial building plan, renewal of trade license, conversation of trade license and integrated solid waste management project, Govt will boost the industrialization in our state.

MSME Sector: MSME sector in India has enough potential to counter adverse financial position due to downward pressure in economy. Only assistance that is needed is trust and financial support from the financial agencies. This sector generates around 100 million jobs spread over 46 million units operating in the country. With 38 % of manufacturing output, it is easy to comprehend the crucial role they play in social and economic growth of India. Despite such dominant role, we feel that MSMEs in India need greater support from our governments as well as our financial institutions, when compared to China where they contribute almost 60 % to the country’s GDP.

Leather & Footwear industry, Textile Industry in West Bengal: West Bengal now emerging as an export of finished leather goods more than 25% the total export of our Country. About 2,000 industries and 10,000 MSME’s are producing the leather footwear & leather accessories in our State. Textile is one of the traditional industries in West Bengal. Handloom, Power-loom, Hosiery, Jute and Silk are the major segments of it. The state occupies a leading position in key market segments in the textile sector including knitwear garments with focus on product categories like kids wear, innerwear and outerwear. For its unique geographical location, West Bengal is regarded as the gateway of East-Indian exports. Moreover, Export Corridor for South-East Asian countries through it will facilitate a massive investment during upcoming years. Turnover of the textile sector in the state is estimated at USD 6.2 billion which is close to 6% of the size of Indian textiles industry. Expected growth in Hosiery sector alone is about 30% from the present level. The State is also a leading manufacturer of Jute Textiles and export-oriented Handloom.

Women Empowerment & the role of Kanyasree: As such India should work for its gender equality as much as it is committed to moving up on the ease of attaining business ranking. The percentage of working women declined to 24% in 2015-2016 from 36% a decade ago.

Re-thinking of FRDI Bill: There is furious public debate around the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill tabled in August and now under the scrutiny of a Joint Parliamentary Committee. In this Bill there’s one clause that is sending ripples of unease among savers. Clause 52 of the Bill empowers the Resolution Corporation overseeing bank defaults to use a bail-in provision against creditors to absorb losses. In invoking this bail-in, the Corporation can cancel any of the bank’s liabilities or change their terms. In view of the above the Orient Chamber of Commerce earnestly request our Hon’ble Minister, Govt. of West Bengal, to look after this matter with the Central Government and request them to amend the clause, so that the small depositors and traders are not hampered.

About The Oriental Chamber of Commerce: Oriental Chamber Of Commerce, one of the top Chamber Of Commerce & Industry in Kolkata, formerly known as Muslim Chamber of Commerce, established on 1st October, 1932 at the inspiration of Late Sir Abdur Rahim, Hon’ble Speaker, Central Assembly. It was founded by leading Muslim businessmen of Calcutta  and serves the small and medium traders, exporters and industrialists and has worked primarily to promote manufacturing, trading and export in the micro, small and medium sectors.

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