Profile of Dedicated Services

The commercial class has played an important role in the socio-economic development of India from ancient times. Historical evidence indicates that commerce was the engine that powered much of the famed affluence and urban development of the Indus Valley Civilization (circa 2300 B.C.). By the time of the Mauryan empire (third century B.C.), organized guilds of traders and artisans emerged, whose influence reached a peak during the five or six centuries (200 B.C. to A.D. 300) that followed the disintegration of the Empire. These guilds were self-regulatory bodies which laid down regulations and codes of conduct that intended to protect the interests of not just the traders and artisans, but of the customers as well. In many ways, they were the fore-runners of the present day Chamber of Commerce.

In modern India, the contributions of the mercantile class range from the struggle for freedom from colonial rule to the country’s emergence as an economic power house. Endorsements of their services have come even from Mahatma Gandhi, who went ahead to prescribe the “trusteeship” concept to ensure that the benefits of commerce reach the poor and the needy. Most of the trade associations in independent India have acknowledged the ideas of the Father of the Nation and the Bihar Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) has been no exception.

The Chamber is registered under Indian Companies Act. Throughout its 86 year-history, it has not only been acting as a catalyst for the overall economic development of the State, but has also contributed humbly towards the achievement of the national goal. Struggle for creation of an economically strong Bihar and efforts to contribute to nation building through development of trade and industry, stand out as central themes in the history of the Chamber.

The beginning of Nineteenth Century was the period of uncertainties. The idea of establishing a Chamber of Commerce in Behar & Orissa cropped up in the year 1925. During that year, apart from other problems in the Trade and Industrial sectors, there was a heated controversy over the Rupee-Sterling ratio. The businessmen of Behar & Orissa felt the need to organize themselves so that their voice could get due weight with the authorities on matters affecting the economy. Consequently, to promote the aspiration of the people, and also to help pilot the causes for rapid development of Industry and Trade, an organization named “Behar & Orissa Chamber of Commerce” was founded in 1926. Late Rai Bahadur Radha Krishna Jalan and Late R. C. Pandit were its first President and Hony. Secretary, respectively. The main object behind establishment of the Chamber was to unite the Traders and Industrialists in order to cope up grave challenges facing labour, transportation, taxation, mining etc.. Additionally, the Chamber also aimed to project a strong voice to remove the major constraints which had been hampering the growth of industry and trade in the region.

Ever since its inception 9th September, 1926 , the Bihar Chamber of Commerce has shown a deep sense of responsibility towards the welfare of the entire society, even while giving voice to the aspirations of the business community. The Chamber has strived to support and popularize Government’s policies and assist in their implementation. Though such a supplementary role, it has built a bridge between the government and the business community and ensured that a variety of skills and experience available with the private sector are channelized in the right direction. In its bid to promote economic activities, the Chamber helped in the establishment of the Magadh Stock Exchange at Patna. Maintaining a strictly non-political outlook, the Chamber has succeeded in building partnerships with the academic world to foster development of the economy. The Chamber has also extended moral, and considerable material support, to the needy in times of natural disasters and calamities. Its support to the cause of national security has been noteworthy. On the front of societal concerns, it has worked for eradication of untouchability and other social evils, and for promotion of literacy and creation of employment opportunities.

The Bihar Chamber of Commerce has a proud record of guidance, blessing and frequent visits from the top functionaries of the Government and Industry. On visiting the Chamber, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Captains of Industry, and top bureaucrats have guided its endeavors and have appreciated its achievements.

The Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Chamber was graced by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1951. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Justice K. B. N. Singh, graced the Golden Jubilee Function of the Chamber in 1976, and the then Vice President of India, Shri R. Venkataraman graced the Diamond Jubilee Function of the Chamber in 1986. Additionally, Shri V. V. Giri, the then Vice President of India, and Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, have also gracefully visited the Chamber.

The Chamber celebrated its PLATINUM JUBILEE in the year 2002 with a deep sense of responsibility towards welfare of the entire society and economic, agricultural and industrial development of Bihar. Bharat Ratna Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the then President of India, graced the closing ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Chamber.

In recognition of the services rendered by the Chamber, the Government of India also released a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Bihar Chamber of Commerce in the year 2002.

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