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

Major Events 2019-20
February 20, 2020
Panel Discussion and Interactive Session on UNION BUDGET 2020-21 and it's Impact on Economy

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

The Session was addressed by Shri Sumit Dutt Majumder, Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, Shri Gaurav Swarup, Managing Director, Paharpur Cooling Towers Ltd., CA Dipankar Chatterji, Senior Partner, L.B. Jha & Co. & Shri Saurabh Kedia, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd, India.

Shri Sumit Dutt Majumder, said that the FM highlighted three themes in this budget- Aspirational India, Economic Development and Caring Society. But there is a big gap between projected expenditure (Rs.30.42 lac crore) and the estimated receipts (Rs.22.46 lac crore) in the budget. He expressed concern that where from the huge amount of money will come.

Shri Gaurav Swarup was of opinion that from industry perspective the cement and steel industry are going on smoothly. But there is slowdown in both housing and auto sectors.

CA Dipankar Chatterjee remarked that that the lack of demand is spread across India. There is crisis in infrastructure where the amount of stalled infrastructure projects is valued at Rs.8-10 lac crores and the number of stalled housing projects is 1600. And for that reason the job is not done, the connectivity is not achieved, the NPA is rising, the banks get into troubles and the infrastructure comes to a halt.

Shri Saurabh Kedia, applauded the decision of reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. With the Ordinance coming into new manufacturing entities that are having their set up post 2019 September and start their operation before 2023, they will get a concessional tax rate of 15% and that was a great move by the government. This will increase investment in the corporate sector which will help in boosting the economy.

February 07, 2020
Special Session on "Enhancing Trade and Business between India and Philippines"

The Session was addressed by H.E. Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., Ambassador of Philippines to India and Mr. Deepak Kumar Khemka, Hony. Consul General of The Philippines, Kolkata.

H.E. Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., said, "Many India companies have established their bases in Vietnam and other countries, now it is time to take a second look at the Philippines. We have over a hundred thousand Indians living there for years; this is also an opportunity for those with the third or fourth generation Indians to connect with their distant relatives here."

The Honorary Consul General of the Philippines in Kolkata, Mr. Deepak Khemka, said "tourism is growing by the year in both India and the Philippines but eastern India's contribution has unfortunately been small." He said "Philippines is a beautiful country with many of the most beautiful beaches. Tourism is growing by the year in both India and the Philippines. However, Eastern India's contribution has unfortunately been small."

Mr. Eugenio C. Elevado, Jr., Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of Philippines in India said that the Philippine economy is growing very rapidly and emphasized on the synergy between two countries. He requested Indian companies to come to Philippine and expand their business.

January 27, 2020
Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR~Strategic Link between People, Planet and Profit

Calcutta Chamber of Commerce in association with Seva Sutra Private Limited organized a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility on 27th January 2020 and the theme of the seminar was - "CSR~Strategic Link Between People, Planet and Profit". Dr. H P Kanoria, Chairman, Srei Foundation was the Chief Guest on the occasion. CS Nagendra D Rao, Vice President, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) & Mr. Nixon Joseph, President & Chief Operating Officer, SBI Foundation were Guests of Honour. The other dignitaries included Shri Sunil Kumar Mehta, GM (Finance), Coal India Limited & CS Priyadarshi Nayak, Chairman, EIRC, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) in the Inaugural Session.

The day-long Seminar was divided into five sessions for deliberations, four panel discussions and the fifth being Special Session with Shri Vinayak Lohani, Founder, Secretary and Chief, Parivaar. The first session was titled "Implementation of CSR Policy: Mantras for Corporate - NGO partnerships"; Session-II "Legal and Taxation Issues encompassing CSR"; Session III - "Use of Disruptive Technologies to create Social Impact" & Session IV - "Impact measurement and CSR Reporting".

Shri Madhav Sureka, President, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce gave the welcome address and Shri Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Central Council Member; The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) introduced the theme of the Seminar.

The Chief Guest Dr. H.P. Kanoria, Chairman, SREI Foundation remarked that it is history that CSR is incorporated in the Companies Act. It covers Companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or a turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore or a net profit exceeding Rs 5 crore in any financial year. But other companies could have been covered under the CSR voluntary scheme. Dr. Kanoria said that more than Rs.50,000 crores have been spent by the companies over the last 5 years towards CSR. Shri Sunil Kumar Mehta, GM (Finance), Coal India Limited, the largest coal producing company in the world and which has its own CSR Policy, discussed the efforts of Coal India to promote social activities. Elaborating SBI’s contribution to the CSR sector, Mr. Nixon Joseph, President & Chief Operating Officer, SBI Foundation remarked that the Bank is also focusing more on people, planet & profit and sustainability is one of the key goals.

Oil India Limited carries out different CSR programmes and projects in areas such as Education, Healthcare and Sanitation, Skill Development, expansion of Rural Infrastructure, for improving the quality of life of the people and communities residing in its operational areas, said Shri Tridiv Hazarika, Deputy General Manager (CSR & CC), Oil India Ltd while speaking in the Seminar. He stated OIL has been doing a lot for the North East community despite turmoil owing to political, social and separatist movement. Ms. Divya Tandon, Executive Director & Company Secretary, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited said that Power Grid spends Rs 200 crores on CSR in a year and they won an award in 2019 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for the watershed programme in the Coornool district. According to Ms. Yangzom Lama, Dy. General Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd., their focus is on selecting the right implementing partner with credentials, capable of fulfilling the company's policy objectives. Their pioneer project is with ALIMCO, the Artificial Limb Manufacturing Co. of India, followed by Ramakrishna Mission 'Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa' (GAP) for health and education apart from their contribution in numerous schemes like building dams, reservoirs, water harvesting and Swachh Bharat.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) performs many CSR activities although the institute is not entitled to Section 135 of Companies Act 2013, said CS Nagendra D Rao, Vice President. In the technical sessions, eminent panelists from Industries, NGOs & professionals spoke on different aspects of CSR. Over 250 delegates, invitees and guests from governments, industries, academia and NGOs attended the Seminar. Shri Rajeev Maheshwari, Sr. Vice President, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce proposed vote of thanks.

January 16, 2020
Special Interaction with Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Hon'ble Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

The Session was organized jointly by Merchants' Chamber of Commerce, Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Direct Taxes Professionals' Association and Association of Corporate Advisers & Executives.

Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, the Minister of State for Finance, said the Centre is looking to carry out more judicial reforms to improve the ease of doing business in India - "The country has done so well in ease of doing business ranking that has gone up from 142 to 63. But as far as the arbitration and judicial system is concerned, our ranking is very poor. It is an area of concern." The Centre is taking several measures to boost consumption in a bid to put the country's economy on the growth path. India is said to be facing the dual problem of a growth slowdown and high inflation, driven primarily by higher food prices.

Industry is hoping Budget 2020 to announce measures to revive consumption and spur growth, particularly in manufacturing. The government is taking various steps to increase the demand and the growth of consumption. "With an aim to revive industrial growth and boost consumption, the Centre has taken various measures including reduction in the corporate tax rate, lowering of GST rates on select items and removing 'angel tax' for entities registered with DPIIT among others. However, all these measures have not yet translated into a higher demand."

The Union Budget 2020-21 slated to be presentation February 1 is likely to resolve several issues being faced by traders in the country and give thrust on agriculture, job creation and boosting investment on infrastructure development, said Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs.

November 24, 2019 Special Session on Agricultural and Rural Development with Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare held at the Park Hotel Kolkata jointly organized by Calcutta Chamber of Commerce & ACAE.

While addressing the members of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce and ACAE the Minister stated that the contribution of agriculture in India is around 60-70% of GDP. Now the farmers of our country are able to feed 130 crore people of India and not only that, our country also emerged as a major agricultural exporter of several key commodities, currently being the largest exporter of rice globally. The sector also diversified from grains towards pulses, fruit, vegetables and livestock products. He added that one major constrain is the declining size of land holding, which not only brings the farm size to unviable levels but also makes difficult to take advantage of mechanization. 85% are small and marginal farmers. Still, the level of food grain production is encouraging and we are now self-sufficient in food grains.

The Minister remarked that the Government is now making endeavour to double the farm income by 2022. The initiative has been made to bring in a large section of farming community under Crop Insurance Scheme to ensure them a sustained income. In order to provide remunerative prices to the farmers through marketing reforms, the government has also launched e-NAM, an electronic platform by unifying more than 400 Mandis across the country, whereby a buyer located anywhere in India would be able to place an order in any Mandis in India.

The Minister said that the Government has also made Crop Insurance Scheme under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Micro Irrigation Scheme, setting up new soil testing laboratories for Soil Health Card Scheme and promotion of organic farming are the other new schemes launched to boost agricultural productivity. The Minister said that the Soil Health Card has been introduced in the whole country and this benefit has reached to 11 crores of farmers as of now. The soil health card would help the farmers in a bigger way. He also said that the demand for organic food is growing very rapidly all over the world. People are very conscious about their health nowadays. Our farmers are doing well in the organic farming.

The government was focusing on cow milk and the idea was to bring in cow hostel throughout the country. The younger generation already started their Start ups business on milk products. The Government of India has very recently introduced Farmers' Pension Scheme and 7 crores of farmers were identified for the scheme and pension fund was released to them. Gradually, this benefit will reach to all the farmers in the country.


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