Shri Sachin Pilot, Minster of Corporate Affairs, had an interactive session with the leaders and senior executives from the corporate world here today to discuss ways and means of making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a major contributor to growth and quality of life of the common people particularly as the Companies Bill now pending in the Lok Sabha proposes to give statutory status to this responsibility.
In the context of CSR the Public Sector has taken a lead as the annual MOUs require all profit-making PSUs to spend 0.5 to 5% of their profit on CSR as per plans approved by their Board. For the five ‘Maha Ratnas’ and 16 ‘Nav Ratnas’ PSUs alone in the last two financial years, Rs. 1123 crores were utilized on CSR related activities. In order to ensure that funds earmarked for CSR activities do not lapse, the unspent amount on this score is to be transferred to a non-transferable pool, which is maintained by the individual PSU.. A wide range of activities have been covered under the CSR initiatives with emphasis on skill development, promotion of education, village adoption and promotion of renewal sources of energy etc. A National Foundation of Corporate Social Responsibility (NFCR) has been set up within the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs for which the Government have provided an initial corpus of Rs.1.50 crores. NFCR is likely to receive similar endowments from many non-governmental sources in the near future. The Foundation will play a supportive role through dissemination of information, documentation and providing global best practices to the Corporates.
In the context of the above developments, Shri Pilot emphasised the need for the corporates in the private sector to systematically plan and execute their CSR initiatives to build synergies and to achieve results that are visible within a short timeframe. While the Government wishes the corporates to decide the areas of activities and strategies for execution, it will be happy to play a facilitating role in the process. As a pointer to socially relevant activities, the Minister drew attention to the need to give priority to hygiene and sanitation in rural areas particularly for provision of toilets in Girls’ schools in Government run and Government aided institutions in the Secondary and Senior Secondary sectors with water conservation technologies 1.37 crores girls are enrolled in the Country at Secondary Level (Classes IX-X) and 78.32 lacs at Senior Secondary level (classes XI and XII). There are 19,351 Girls only school in the Country, of which 10,365 are in the Government Sector, 6511 are Government Aided and 2475 are Privately Managed. Sh. Pilot said that espousing such projects as part of the CSR efforts would synergize public-private efforts in socially important areas.
The representatives in the interactive session were appreciative of the initiative taken and have promised to commence positive action with agencies like Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and the National Foundation of Corporate Social Responsibility and the National Foundation of Corporate Governance set up with an outlay of 10 crores to play an enabling and effective role.