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FAPCCI –  A Historic Background since 1917

(Hyderabad Deccan Chamber of Commerce)

 

The Beginning:

FAPCCI traces its origin to 1917.  In those days, a few businessmen, notably Raja Parandass, Dewan Bahadur Ramgopal, Sri Hormusji, etc., though of starting a Chamber of Commerce for Hyderabad.  They named it Hyderabad (Deccan) Chamber of Commerce.  The first President of the Chamber was Sri Parmandass  

( He passed away on 2nd May, 1918).  Not many of the records of the Chamber are now available.  Luckily, an extremely meticulous and history-minded, but self-effacing person, made a bare-bone record of the Chambers’ work from 1917 to 1952.  And this available.  From this record it is clear that the type of problems that they faced and the type of organizational structure they had to work with are completely of a different complexion from what this Federation has at present.  At the same time, business always being basically what it is, there is some similarity as regards basic subjects of interest.  The representations were mainly addressed to Nizam’s Government, the Resident of the (British) Government of India, Railways, Postmaster General, Madras Residency.  The Chamber was trade-oriented, industry being a later development in the old Hyderabad State.  Even when it did develop it was only in the late 30s onwards that they became members.  These included: Vazir Sultan Tobacco Co. Ltd., (1938), Azamjahi Mills Ltd., (1939), Indian Home Pipe Company (1944), National Food Products (1944), Sirpur Paper Mills (1944), Nizam Sugar Factory (1944), Hyderabad Chemical & Pharmaceuticals (1951), Hyderabad Potteries (1952).

In the inaugural year 1917, the subjects dealt with were mainly organizational.  The meetings were being held in the house of Sri Mukundas Bhagwandas who was President from 1918 to 1927.

War Loans:

The First World War (1914 to 1919) was almost at the last lap.  The Chamber asked its members to subscribe to the war loans.

Abnormal Prices:

Another subject that figured was setting up of a Sub-Committee to consider the abnormal prices of building material and labour and the prices of “Parenda & Madhra” Jawar.

Thai Bazari:

Some kind of representation went on from 1917 through 1930 onwards for the abolition of Thai Bazari, a tax collected at the market places.

The Indian Trade Commissioner figures in another representation.

In the whole year, the Chamber had admitted 31 members.  This included the Contractor’s Association, showing the Chamber’s early promise to shape into a Federation.

In 1943 the Chamber gave affiliation to the Muslim Chamber of Commerce, Raichur and Muslim Merchants Association of Gulberga.

Representation:

The Chamber was represented on Customs Tariff Committee (1921); Cantonment Committee, Residency Bazar Committee (1924) and Railway Advisory Council (1926).  They agitated for representation on the Legislative Council, but do not seem to have succeeded in this. But it succeeded in obtaining a nomination to sit in the Municipal Council in 1931.

After repeated requests through the early thirties, a representation was finally given in 1937 to the Chamber and Sahukars’ Association on the Municipal Corporation.  A joint meeting of the two organizations was held to consider election of a representative.

Following formation of the Fruit Development Board, in 1938, a representative of the Chamber was elected to the Executive Committee of the Hyderabad Farming Association.

The Chamber aspired for the membership of the mercantile community on the City Improvement Board.  A Panel of names was suggested to the Board from the Chamber (1936).

The Nizam appointed Mr. Ahmed Alladin as the Mercantile Community’s Representative on the City Improvement Board (1939).

The business community’s representation on the Municipal Corporation was a highly coveted one and Sahukaran Committee and Chamber seem to have had difference over this.  They were finally settled by having a joint general meeting and a workable convention was established for sending representatives of Chamber and Sahukaran Committee alternatively. (1940).

Cosmopolitan: There were a few instances in which the Chamber refused to agree to a communal approach in sending nominees to representative boides, etc., (1943).

The Chamber made bid for representation on Postal Advisory Board in 1944.

A representative of the NIzam’s State Railway and the Director of Commerce & Industries were co-opted to the Managing Committee of the Chamber (1944).  Both were members of the Chamber from 1944 and continued upto 1968.

The Board of Governors of Central Laboratory extended a representation for the business community.  This was alternately held each year was the mill-owners. (1944).

Representation was offered to the Chamber on two committees, namely Post-war Planning Committee and a Committee on Technical Education.  The Chamber did not agree to the Government choosing its representative.  They informed the Department that it is their right to elect a representative.  They sought clarification in this regard. (1945).

In 1944 and again in 1947, the Chamber pleaded for appointment of a representative of trade, commerce and industry in the Executive Council (H.E.H. the Nizam’s Government) and larger representation for the business community in the Legislative Assembly.

The Chamber demanded representation on the Nizam Government’s Tariff Board.  A representation was sent accordingly to the Director General of Revenue in October, 1947.

Mill-Owners were requested to send nominations to Committee for membership of Central Laboratories of Research.  The Chamber decided to send a representation alternately from the Chambers and Mill-owners every year. (1948).

The Chamber sent a nominee to be on the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (1949).

The Chamber’s representative was elected to be on the Hyderabad Electricity Committee in 1950.

Sri S.V. Naik, the then President of the Chamber, was congratulated in 1950 for being nominated to Parliament. (1950).

By and large, the Hyderabad Deccan Chamber of Commerce was consulted on matters concerning trade.  But once in the 1930’s on the question of mode of assessing customs duty, the Revenue Member was requested by the Chamber to be given an opportunity to express opinion on measures affecting trade and commerce.  Perhaps even in those days, as now, Government sometimes used to do things unilaterally.  Then the Chamber had to chase the cases, while the Government sat on a posture of prestige.  The Chamber expressed concern about the difficulty which ill-considered measures entail for the trade.

                                                                                                                                                         Contd...

 

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