History of Asansol Chamber of Commerce
In the year 1970, the great visionary Sri G. S. Kedia in a small rented room in Uma Bhawan commissioned Asansol Chamber of Commerce. At that time Asansol was blooming with big industries such as Indian Iron & Steel Co. Ltd., HP Glass, Sen Releigh, J. K. Aluminium, besides a chain of collieries. Though medium and small scale industries were scant yet the trading activities were flourishing behind these big industries. But a phase came when irresponsible trade unionism began to croach the business in this area. Gherao and militant trade unionism began to swallow thsese big industries one by one. At this stage Sri Kedia along with his team of Sri D. N. Vyas, Sri K. C. Bagri, Sri R. A. Chokhani, Sri Rameswar Lal Kedia and Sri R. N. Yeadv put a very brave front and enthused the business community to unite under the banner of Asansol Chamber of Commerce.
Subsequently our leaders began to realise the folly of such militancy. The role of the Chamber was realised and its advice sought by the Govt. During the presidentship of Sri Jagdish Kedia, Sri R. A. Chokhani and Sri R. N. Yadav, several sittings were held with verious ministers and their officials. The chamber in its true spirit mobilized the support of prospective interpreneures and a chain of medium and small industries came into existence.
Chamber of Commerce are organisations of business. Nuturally, it is their prime responsibility to preserve, protect and safeguard business interests. But business does not exist in isolation, it is very much part and parcel of national life. The naturual corolary followes that Chambers should look beyond business, which must function as a responsible cityzen. Apart from being constantly alive and alert to social aspirations and expectations. Chambers must concentrate on looking after the consumer, who is the ultimate master of all the industries. To protect the interests of cosumers should be the prime concern of the Chamber. As we all are consumers in one way or other. Asansol Chamber of Commerce is always keeping this theme in mind.
There was once a time when inspector Raj was rampant. The businessmen were put under shackless of very clumsy rules and acts. But by the efforts of the Chamber, we have been able to heave a sigh of relief. The businessmen once treated with hatred, can now raise his head with pride. His voice is being heard. His advice is being sought. Yet a lot more is still to be done.
Man is a social and sociable animal. He is responsible to the society. The chamber is also an association of individuals who are morally bound to put their heart and soul to remove any hindarance that may be blocking the highway of general progress of the society. For the past 7-8 years the Chamber has been putting in its efforts to inculcate the sence of maintening the sanctity of Durga Puja and the importance of discipline in holdinga festival by giving the whole idea a shape of healthy competition. The response received has been overwhelming and there has been a sea change in the overall attotude of Puja Organising Committee.
On educational field, to encourage and appreciate the efforts of meritorious students of Asansol and Burnpur, the Chamber is giving awards and appreciation certificate to all toppers in Madhyamik, ICSE and CBSE of each and every shool. Janab Islam Sayeed has sponsored this 'Sayeed Memorial Education Award' in memory of his late father.
The Chamber for the benefit of its members free of cost also organised Personality Development Classes. The Chamber in collaboration with ICONS, a renowned business management institute a Noida, organised a Youth & India Vision 2020 Seminar.
The Chamber is also giving awards to public personalities, Press, Media, Police and others for performing excellence in their fields of activities. The Chamber has also stood by our countrymen in the time distress also the memories of devastating super cyclone in Orrisa, the Floods in West Bengal and Earthquake in Gujarat will probably never fade. Besides mobilizing the members to donate in their personal capacity the Chamber also contributed to the Chief Ministers Relief Funds on each mishap.
It was felt by the organisation to serve the need of common people. A social service foundation has been established under the banner of Asansol Chamber of Commers. Funds have been created by individual donation from all the members of the executive committee.
In all the sphares such as Civil Amenities, Railway, Banking services, Police, Sales Tax, Income Tax, Telephones, Electricity, Health, Education, General Administration ect. The Chamber is regularly playing its role by holding periodical meetings with the concerned authorities, drawing their attention to the deficiencies and putting proposals for betterment of their services. To safeguard the interests of its members and general habitants of this area, Chamber had several sittings with Govt. administration at local, State level and also at Central level.
Due to the efforts of our past President Sri S. N. Daruka as DRUCC member, many new trends from Asansol and via Asansol have been introduced and Asansol Station has been granted the status of 'A' category on the Rail Map of India.
For the awareness of the members and interested public representatives the Chamber is regularly holding joint seminar along with National Small Insustries Corporation, Small Scale Industries Bureau of Indian Standards, Banking Organisations, Directorate of Commercial Taxes, Insurance Companies, Health & Spiritual Organisation, Computer Education Institutions, Export Promotion Council and even Adventure Sports Organisaions. Due insistence of Sri R. N. Yadav a special officer of Reserve Bank of India can all the way from Mumbai to sortout and solve banking problems in Asansol.
The Chamber has been instrumental in taking initiative to form a federation of all Chambers of six neighbouring districts in the larger interest of socio economic development of these districts. Under the Presidentship of our advisor and past President Sri R.N. Yadav Federation of South Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry is now functioning very smoothly.
The Chamber is affiliated with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), New Delhi. The President & Secretary always remain in touch with this body by exchanging views on important matters. FICCI has also honoured Asansol Chamber of Commerce by nominating three members in their committees. Sri Pawan Gutgutia in Telecom & IT committee, Sri Subrata Dutta in Tourism and Prof. Subhashish Banerjee in Education committee are representing the Chamber at FICCI.
A rare scene of nity amongst the traders was witnessed last year when the entire business community stood under the banner of this Chamber to oppose the unjust and hostile regulations of VAT.
Another big achievement of the Chamber is the purchase of its own building on G.T. Road at Murgasol. From a dingy small room, we have now shifted to our own building 'CHAMBER BHAWAN' with spacious office fitted with modern equipments and a moderate meeting room. There are enough vaccant and our future plan is to construct mass auditorium along with other facilities. This has been achieve due to whole hearted support of a few members specially the then President Sri S.N. Daruka.
In the last few years, the Chambers strength has increased tremendously. From its inception Chamber has grown step by step every year. A good number of new individuals and industrial units have been enrolled as Life Members. In this sense, Asansol Chamber of Commerce is an organization with difference. It is the oldest and most active functioning Chamber at present. Its members comprise of Doctors, Professors, Accountants, Computer specialists, Professionsals, Traders, Businessman, Young Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Hotel owners, Small & Big Industrialists etc. Eminent social luminaries & renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. J.K. Khandelwal and the Principal of Durgapur Institute of Management Prof. Subhashish Banerjee are really valuable assets of the Chamber as its Life Members. Their advise and guidance give special dimension to the activities of the Chamber.
All this has been possible only due to the active participation of our members who put their self-interest away for the larger benefit of the society and by putting their Time, Talent and Treasure for the Chamber.