While the Government has launched several initiatives to promote inclusive growth, the private sector has a major role to play in this endeavour said, Pranab Mukherjee, President of India. He was speaking on the occasion of National Summit on CSR – Partnering the National Agenda, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) in New Delhi today.
Showing confidence in industry’s ability and commitment to the cause of CSR, he said Industry will be a more than able partner to the government, stressing that Indian industry must use its strength and competencies and lend its expertise to a wider array of programmes, which would impact society. A one-size-fits-all approach, he elaborated, will not work and industry should identify issues relevant to different regions and help address those. CSR, today refers to a comprehensive sense of responsibility extending beyond the responsibility to shareholders, he added. The mandatory spend on CSR will generate a huge amount, and structured development of strategy is now required to ensure that the funds are used optimally.
Appreciating industry’s work in this area, and especially that of the CII, the President appreciated CII’s support to government initiatives such as the Swacch Bharat Mission through its commitment to build 10,000 toilets in schools which is expected to usher in social transformation, and the India@75 initiative, which is mobilising youth for social transformation.
The President unveiled the logo of Sammaan: The CSR Exchange, a joint initiative of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA). Designed as a platform to facilitate interactive collaboration on Corporate Social Responsibility, the BSE enabled technology platform will bring together the strength of CII’s member corporate base and the Implementation Agency Hub (IA Hub) of the IICA.
Earlier, S. Ramadorai, Chairman, National Skill Development Agency and National Skill Development Corporation and Non-Executive Chairman, BSE said that Samman was the world’s first CSR exchange and will facilitate CSR initiatives of corporates.
Speaking on the occasion. Anjuly Chib Duggal, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs said that while CSR initiatives by corporates have been an ongoing activity, the intent of the CSR provision in the Companies Act is to institutionalise the focus on giving back to society with the hope that this focus translates into projects where industry uses its management strategies to identify and implement programmes.
Earlier in his address, Sumit Mazumder, President, CII said that while some countries continue to reel under economic stress, India is projected to grow at 7.5 percent according to IMF and World Bank estimates, and in such a scenario, there is greater responsibility to ensure that as the nation moves forward, the benefits of prosperity reach all.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Chairman, CII National CSR Summit 2015 said that over the last few years, the Government’s perception of the role of industry has changed and India Inc has pro-actively taken up and participated in several Government initiatives, adding that this Summit was an initiative to create a strong, sustainable movement for inclusive growth.
Dr Raghupati Singhania, Co-Chairman, CII National CSR Summit 2015 said that CSR has now moved from the backroom to the Boardroom, adding that CII has always believed very strongly that inclusive growth is necessary for sustainable development and equitable distribution of wealth. He said that it was critically important to build capability of CSR practitioners, NGOs, grassroots level people for all sections of society to benefit.