Union Corporate Affairs Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has stressed for a Corporate culture attuned to the universally accepted values of good governance – accountability, transparency, responsibility and responsiveness to stake holders. Dr. Moily was addressing the 2nd Second National CSR Conclave on “Corporate Social Responsibility –Public Sector Perspective” organised by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs here in New Delhi today. He said Our corporate endeavours have to be consonant with the demands of our eco system and the expectations of Indian democracy.
Dr. Moily highlighted that over the years, most of the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSEs) have consciously and extensively promoted corporate social activities including:
• Providing employment to the weaker and underprivileged sections of the society on a more equitable basis
• Providing all inclusive social facilities to the employees and their families, especially in the areas of education, healthcare and entertainment
• Providing assistance to social and cultural activities beneficial to employees and associated sections of the community
• Participating in or contributing to the causes and activities dealing with natural disasters
To further encourage the public sector to undertake CSR activities and to clearly lay out the CSR mandate for the CPSEs the Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises released the ‘Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility for Central Public Sector Enterprises’. These define CSR as “a company’s commitment to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner, while recognising the interests of its stakeholders. This commitment is beyond statutory requirements.” The document outlines clearly the concept, planning, implementation, research, documentation, advocacy, promotion, monitoring and funding related to CSR activities in the CPSEs.
An indication of the strength of commitment to CSR initiatives by CPSEs can be assessed by the fact that
• ONGC has allocated around 2% of its net profit towards CSR initiatives during FY 2010
• NMDC has been actively participating in various CSR initiatives and has allocated around 2.4% of its net profit in FY 2010 towards CSR initiatives
The Minister informed that a number of initiatives have been taken by the Ministry in the past few months in the legislative, regulatory, service delivery and capacity building areas. While undertaking these initiatives, the Ministry has also been examining the issues referred in the “Doing Business’ reports of the World Bank and suitably addressing them within the scope of the Acts administered
The Minister said given the millions of Indians living below the poverty line- the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ – “the recent UNDP initiative focusing on companies that can provide services to the nearly 4 billion people who survive on a dollar a day, and in the process, also create new business opportunities for themselves is of great importance in India’s fight against poverty” Creating value for all” strategies for doing business with the poor also offer strategies and tools for companies to expand beyond traditional business practices and bring in the world’s poor as partners in growth and wealth creation.
The poor have a largely untapped potential for consumption, production, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity.
Five strategies that private business have successfully used to overcome obstacles while doing business with the poor. These include adapting products and services to the needs of the poor; investing in infrastructure or training to remove market constraints; leveraging the strengths of the poor; working with similarly minded businesses and non-profit organizations and engaging in policy dialogues. These strategies acknowledge the need to tap the inherent strengths of the poor, their entrepreneurship as well as their traditional skills and social networks, to help them stand on their own feet. In a sense this strategy seeks to leverage the social capital available in Indian society, particularly among the underprivileged groups, to lift them out of poverty.
Dr. Moily said that the Planning Commission has mooted the idea of public sector units (PSUs) setting up higher education hubs as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). The move will help the government in achieving its target of increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER) to 20% by 2017 and 25% by 2022. PSUs spend almost Rs 1,400 crore as part of their CSR.
The other dignitaries present were Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General & CEO, IICA; Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE; Sh. R S Sharma, Former Chairman & Managing Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. and Sh. S Vasudeva, Chairman & Managing Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.
The 2nd National CSR Conclave was organized as a prelude to the annual event organized by Ministry of Corporate Affairs - India Corporate Week (6th-13th February, 2012). The main objective of the 2nd National CSR Conclave was to share the perspective of the public sector on CSR with the select gathering and also to learn about some of the good practices being undertaken by PSEs in this regard.
The two technical sessions on the CSR Best Practices saw presentations by various Public Sector Enterprises like Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd., Hindustan Prefab Ltd., NMDC Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., NTPC Ltd., Oil India Ltd., GAIL India Ltd., Punjab National Bank, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., etc. These presentations were highly informative and generated keen interest among the delegates who were primarily the Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna (Category 1) Public Sector Enterprises. The technical sessions were chaired by Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, IICA and Prof. Venkatesh Kumar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.