Calcutta Chamber of Commerce: the oldest chamber of commerce in IndiaCalcutta Chamber of Commerce: the oldest chamber of commerce in India

Major Events 2018-19
July 10, 2019
Panel Discussion & Interactive Session on "UNION BUDGET 2019-20 – AN ANALYSIS"

The Chief Guest was Mr. Bishwanath Jha, IRS, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, West Bengal & Sikkim and the other panelists were CA Ram Krishna Agrawal, Former Chairman, CII (Eastern Region) & Mr. Saurabh Kedia, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd, India.

Mr. Bishwanath Jha remarked that taxation is actually the price for civilization. Compared to the advanced countries, the cost of civilization is cheaper in India, to the extent that tax burden is concerned. The tax rate is very reasonable in India. Regarding faceless e-assessment announced in the budget, he said under the proposed scheme, cases selected for scrutiny shall be allocated in a random manner and notices shall be issued electronically by a Central Cell, without disclosing the name, designation or location of the tax officer. This will represent a paradigm shift in the functioning of the income tax department and improve transparency.

Mr Ram Krishna Agrawal said that this year budget is a growth oriented budget. The government has given more thrust on education; healthcare, skilling and more and more fund allocation have been made. One more important thing in this budget is that the government has constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers who will study and suggest reform in the agriculture sector.

CA Saurabh Kedia viewed that in FY 2016-17, the tax rate of the company having turnover of less than Rs.250 crores was 25%. In budget, this benefit has been extended to companies with a turnover of Rs.400 crores in the FY 2017-18. While it is welcome, it was expected that this reduced tax rate would have been extended to the larger companies having turnover of more than Rs.400 crores.

July 01, 2019

The Meeting was addressed by H.E. Mr. Yogesh Punja, High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji, India and Mr. Harsh Vardhan Patodia, Hony. Consul of the Republic of Fiji, Kolkata.

Punja said, Fiji's High Commissioner to India Yogesh Punja said bilateral trade between India and his Pacific Ocean island country has massive growth potential as it can be used as a "bouncing board" to the markets of Australia and New Zealand. Noting that the current annual trade between India and Pacific Island Countries (PICs) currently hovers at around &dolar;300 million, he said the trade is low in volume due to their small population, market sizes and long distance from India. The number of total Indian tourists is only around 5,000. So it is very low. People do not need visas to enter Fiji. So we certainly hope to increase the tourist traffic from India," he said.

June 29, 2019
Talk & Interactive Session on "Critical issues in Tax planning through LLPs"

The meeting was addressed by CA Ram Ratan Modi, Insolvency Professional.

CA Ram Ratan Modi explained that as LLP and General Partnership is being treated as equivalent ( except for recovery purposes* ) in the act, the conversion from General Partnership firm to a LLP will have no Tax implications if :- i) The rights and obligations of the partners remain the same after conversion,ii) There is no transfer of any asset or liability after conversion.

June 20, 2019

The Meeting was addressed by Jb. Syed Muhammad Ashraf, IRS, Vice Chairman, Income Tax Settlement Commission, Additional Bench, Kolkata, Mr. B. D. Gupta, IRS, Member, Income Tax Settlement Commission, Additional Bench, Kolkata & Mr. Jinesh. S. Vanzara, Sr. Chartered Accountant.

Jb. Syed Muhammad Ashraf remarked that Income Tax Settlement Commission is underutilized so far, but the Kolkata Bench is doing rather well than any other state. "We want more and more assesses should come to the Commission and take the benefit of the Commission. In the case of ITSC the obligatory time is 18 months, the Commission settles the cases within 7 - 8 months earlier but now the cases are being disposed off within 11 - 12 months."

Mr. B. D. Gupta said that Income Tax Settlement Commission is an autonomous body and not a part of the Income Tax Department. Shri Gupta said that the method of approaching to the Commission is very simple. The taxpayers have to disclose his undisclosed income fully. ITSC functions in a time bound manner.

Mr. Jinesh. S. Vanzara expressed as to how the Commission was trying hard to settle tax disputes and hence the tax payers could seek addressal of their income tax grievances through the Commission.

May 10, 2019

The Meeting was addressed by CA Rajesh Jain, International Speaker and Corporate Trainer.

In his remarks Shri Rajesh Jain said, "Family business is a unique combination of two diverse systems - family and business. Family requires stability, business demands change; family fosters equality, business needs to promote competence; family is an emotion based system, business works on rationality." The ways in which individuals typically communicate within a family may be inappropriate in business situations.

He added that one important issue relating to family businesses is succession-determining who will take over leadership and/or ownership of the company when the current generation retires. The key to avoiding conflicts about who will take over a business is having a well-defined plan in place. A family retreat, or a meeting on neutral ground without distractions or interruptions, can be an ideal setting to open discussions on family goals and future plans, the timing of expected transitions, and the preparation of the current generation for stepping down and the future generation for taking over.

He indicated that some family-owned businesses are finding that children will not wish to take over a family business. If the founders of a firm wish to keep it in the family's hands, they should be sure to take proactive measures to attract future generations to the business.

April 12, 2019
Talk & Interactive Session on 'HAPPINESS MANTRAS'

The session was addressed by Dr. Virat Chirania, TEDx Speaker, Life Coach and Corporate Trainer.

Dr. Chirania began the talk with an introduction to the nuances of the mind and how it behaves in different situations. He highlighted the various moods of the mind and discussed how mind, body and breath are interrelated. He also noted various finer aspects of mind management and how to have a healthy and sound thought process. The session was followed by a small meditation activity which helped the participants feel refreshed and sound.

March 26, 2019
Talk & Interactive Session on "Recent changes in Companies Act with special emphasis on Beneficial Ownership"

The session was addressed by CS Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Fellow Member of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).

Shri Sanjay Gupta clarified that every company incorporated on or before the 31st December, 2017 shall file the particulars of the company and its registered office, in E-Form ACTIVE on or before 25.04.2019. If Company has not filed its due Financial Statement or Annual Return or both with ROC, such Company shall not be allowed filing e-form ACTIVE. Therefore, Companies are required to complete its Annual Filing before filing of e-form Active (i.e. 22A).

Moreover, as per Section 447 and 448 of the Companies Act, 2013, any person who is found to be guilty of fraud involving an amount of at least ten lakh rupees or one per cent of the turnover of the company, whichever is lower, or of any false or mis-statement shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than the amount involved in the fraud, but which may extend to three times the amount involved in the fraud. Further, where the fraud in question involves public interest, the term of imprisonment shall not be less than three years. Shri Gupta was of opinion that most of the amendments in the ordinance are going to impact all the companies.

March 09, 2019

The Meeting was addressed by Dr. M. S. Sahoo, Chairperson, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India & CS Manoj Banthia, Manoj Banthia & Associates.

IBBI chairman Dr. M S Sahoo said that it would be unfair to say that resolutions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) were tilted towards operational creditors, as is widely perceived. Both operational and financial creditors have benefited alike from resolutions under the IBC.

Dr. Sahoo said "Our data shows that after resolutions, recovery of financial creditors on an average have got 48 per cent of their claims. While, the operational creditors from the same resolution have got back 48.3 per cent, though marginally, they are better treated". "The NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) does not approve a plan unless it balances the interest of all the stakeholders". In December, the NCLT had observed that operational creditors should have voting rights to have a bigger say in any resolution process.

CS Manoj Banthia, Manoj Banthia & Associates pointed out that when the Law came for the first time in December 2016, Sec. 29A which places certain eligibility restriction on a person who can be a resolution applicant did not exists. He also said that as a businessman my business can fail of my inefficient decision, other certain factors which are not in my control, the business can fail because the market scenario is completely changed- globally and domestically. It may be because of these reasons that I am not able to pay my debts and my company is on the brink of insolvency. In such a scenario may be in the long run the expansion should become limited.

He said that today the behavioural change have come in. Fear has set in and fear is rightly motivating to pay all your debts in time to the banks. Fear is also motivated not to expand beyond the particular limits. This particular Law has really changed the behaviroural pattern of all entrepreneurs, this particular Law has changed the mindset of corporate debtors and this law has really yielded tremendous results at least in two years of its operation. But we also have to see whether this really leads to any limiting of growth or expansion in time to come.

March 01, 2019
Talk & Interactive Session on "Banning of Unregulated Deposit"

The meeting was addressed by CA Debashish Mitra, Central Council Member, ICAI.

According to Dr. Debashish Mitra the term is defined in the Ordinance u/s 2(17) which provides that Unregulated Deposit Scheme means a scheme or an arrangement under which deposits are accepted or solicited by any deposit taker by way of business and which is not regulated deposit schemes as specified in First Schedule of the Ordinance.

He clarified that any acceptance of deposit or advance from friends, whether for personal or business purposes, are out of the ambit of this Ordinance. The Department of Financial Services has also clarified that this Ordinance exempts Individual, Firm, companies & LLP etc. from taking any loan and deposit for their course of business.

February 13, 2019
Panel Discussion & Interactive Session on "Digital Transformation - Challenges & Opportunities"

Additional chief secretary, IT and Electronics department, Shri Debashis Sen said that after winning laurels from the World Bank on ease of doing business, the West Bengal government was now trying to create ease of delivering services, on Wednesday."West Bengal is now among top 10 states in India on ease of doing business as notified by the World Bank." He said the state government was also laying emphasis on blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things and quantum computing as well. "Ease of delivering services will be done using technology with minimal touch points with the government", Sen said. Methods of government procurement is also going to change in a big way by promoting competition, the additional chief secretary said.

Shri Alok Tibrewal, Pro Vice Chairman was of the opinion that computer science should be open for all students. Today the biggest contributor of technology is the smart classes, The Byju’s, the topper learning, the flip learning; all these online education apps are completely transforming the education system and reducing the dependency on private tutor. Eventually, digital technology just doesn’t mean technology for the sake of technology, it should bring pleasure to the people, it should enhance their abilities, it should add something on value and it must add transparency to the system.

CA Sanjib Sanghi, Secretary, EIRC of ICAI said that the challenges which we are facing today with the clients whom we are dealing with, is they are looking for personalized and timely service, but we have to be technology enabled at all levels. He said we need technology on the service process of delivery, on administration, on client relationship management, on human resource management and getting information at the finger tips. That’s the key.

Shri Prashant Sharma, MD, Charnock Hospital, SKM Group, Kolkata remarked that one of the major developments which are happening and impact our lives is digitization by way of Aadhar and launching one of the world’s most elaborate universal health care system, Ayushman Bharat - a very ambitious project. The next big thing in health care is going to be IT enabled. When it will happen, it will hit the sector like a storm.

Shri Prashant Surana Jain, Co-founder, Snapper Blockchain Technology & Innovations Shri Jain explained that Blockchain and Bitcoin are two different things. Bitcoin is the application of blockchain. Blockchain is basically a technology of trust - bridging trust amongst the business - bridging trust among the echo system and actually bridging trust on the internet. Blockchain is basically a distributed ledger, it’s a distributed data base, where everybody is connected on to a same system and they are sharing the same information which could be the same source of truth. So wherever you think of fraud, we need to establish a trust between the echo systems, multiple parties who can think of blockchain.

December 09, 2018
2018 Indo Korean Taekwondo Cultural Festival & International Award Ceremony, Opening of GCS Center in Kolkata organized jointly by Taekwondo Cultural Festival Committee & Calcutta Chamber of Commerce

The Festival was graced by Shri Abdur Razzak Molla, Hon'ble Minister of Horticulture & Food Processing Industries, Govt. of West Bengal, Organizing President, Mr. Seok Jae Kang, Secretary General, GCS International, Seoul & Senior Director for Social Responsibility of World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Shri Debashis Sen, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, & CMD of WBHIDCO Ltd., Govt. of West Bengal, Great Grand Master Kim Kyung Duk, President of Gyeonggi-do Taekwondo Association, Prof.(Dr.) Debasis Bhattacharyya, Ex-Officio Secretary, Dept. of Health & Family Welfare, Govt.of West Bengal, Shri B.B. Basu, IPS (Retd.), Hon'ble Vigilance Commissioner,Govt. of West Bengal, Shri Satyam Roy Choudhury, CMD, Techno India University, Shri M.K. Saharia, Hon. Consul General of Indonesia and Shri O. P. Agarwal, President, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.

It was a dazzling display of taekwondo demonstration by world taekwondo exponents at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre. The 30 minute long taekwondo demonstration was performed by a Korean delegation taekwondo team that included a show of taekwondo flying kicks, breakings and taekwondo dance. A memorandum of understanding was signed between Roy's Taekwondo Academy, India and GCS International, Seoul, a United Nations organisation on the occasion for promotion of world peace through the art of taekwondo. Seok Jae Kang, secretary general of GCS International, Seoul and taekwondo Hall of Fame recipient Grand Master Pradipta Kumar Roy signed the MOU on the ocassion. A MOU was also signed between Roy's Taekwondo Academy and Techno India Group to set up a Centre of Excellence for Taekwondo Training. The two day festival was organised by Roy's Taekwondo Academy in association of a number of organisations including Gyeonggi-do Taekwondo Association which is the largest sports association in Korea under Gyeonggi province government and Korea Taekwondo Association under government of South Korea.

December 06, 2018
Talk & Interactive Session on Present Focus of Government on unearthing of Black Money

The Session was addressed by Shri Pranab Kumar Das, IRS, Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), East, Shri Ashish Verma, IRS, Principal Director of Income Tax (investigation), Kolkata, Shri Arvind Kumar, IRS, Principal Commissioner of Income Tax-4 & Shri Jinesh. S. Vanzara, Sr. Chartered Accountant.

Shri Pranab Kumar Das called for a common platform for various agencies to unearth black money and for seamless investigations. He said, “Implementing authorities like Income tax, Customs and Excise, Enforcement Directorate and others have to work together, hand in hand. There are many angles of the investigation, which cannot be dealt with only one agency and others might also be required. There is a need for common platform," .He stressed that making policies and acts alone would not be enough to tackle the menace of black money. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, along with the introduction of Benami Transaction Act and the amendment in Income Tax Act, have been facilitating the agencies to curb generation of black money. He added, "Due to technologies, we are flooded with information about various transactions by persons. We can identify the track of transactions," he said, adding that more than 100 shell companies were raided in the city, based on the information.

Principal Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Kolkata, Shri Ashish Verma said that I-T officials are getting information from abroad through improved policy initiatives. Hailing the demonetisation move, Verma said note-ban initiative corrected the generation of black money through real estate transactions.

Shri Jinesh. S. Vanzara, Sr. Chartered Accountant questioned the effect of a reopening of assessment even after various court judgments. A number of intricate issues cropped up during the reassessment proceedings. In spite of various guidelines laid down by courts, the department constantly disobeys the same leading to harassments of the assessees, which is not desirable.


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