Shri Anant G. Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises today inaugurated the three day long CSR Fair 2017 at Pragati Maidan here in New Delhi. This mega event is organised by The Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises; PHD Chamber in collaboration with ONGC, to provide a platform to all stakeholders, including Central Ministries/Departments, CPSEs/State PSUs, Private Companies, NGOs/Foundations etc. for showcasing their CSR activities, sharing of their best practices and also an opportunity to connect with other stakeholders.
In his welcome address Dr. Madhukar Gupta Additional Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises highlighted the importance of this event and appreciated the overwhelming response of the participants. Union Minister Shri Anant Geete exhorted upon the CPSEs to focus on core areas of social sector especially the Swachtha Abhiyaan, Education and Drinking Water on priority basis. He said, though the amendments carried out in the Companies Act, 2013 making it mandatory for the establishments to incur 2 percent spending on CSR activities from their profit, be it in private sector or the CPSEs, still a voluntary approach and mind set in this regard is capable of bringing sea changes. He said the Swachtha Abhiyaan is running successfully just because of the active participation of CPSEs. The Minister said it is just because of the lack of sanitation facilities in our rural areas school that is aggravating the school dropout cases of girls. Shri Geete said lack of basic infrastructure facilities in rural areas is hindering the quest of students for Secondary and Higher Education. He also referred to the drinking water scarcity in our country. Shri Geete said there is no dearth of either funds or resources in our country and hence the CSR activities should be oriented in this direction amicably.
Shri Geete referred to the Prime Minister initiative’s of Skill India, Digital India and Make in India and made a fervent appeal to the CPSEs heads to follow the guidelines chalked out by the DPE in this regard. He however expressed concern on the said reports of CSR funds getting diverted by frivolous means to NGOs. He advised the CPSEs to remain vigilant and cautious in this regard. He said success of CPSEs ultimately makes the Ministry and the Minister successful on every count. He said “I am proud of the exemplary work rendered by our CPSEs for CSR activities so far.” Shri Geete expressed the hope that this will continue for him too. He further hoped that the deliberations in this three day meet will certainly frame a new charter of success.
On this occasion Minister of State in the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Shri Babul Supriyo lauded the role of CPSEs in fostering the CSR measures satisfactorily.
The uniqueness of this event lies in the activities as there will be:
- Three days of dedicated information packed sessions on CSR
- Never before opportunity to meet Who’s Who of CSR
- Personalized solutions from CSR experts
- Innovative case study presentations of successful CSR interventions by the leaders
- Side Events: Exhibition by all stakeholders, including Central Ministries/Departments, CPSEs/State PSUs, Private Companies, NGOs/Foundations etc.
- Launch of CSR Compendium, it will be an exhaustive review of success stories of CSR initiatives of CPSEs/State PSUs, Private Companies, NGOs/Foundations etc.
The objective of fair is to provide a leading platform to corporate leaders, organizations, implementing agencies and business experts to identify practical solutions for the problems concerning the participatory implementation of CSR projects at the ground level. Besides, this is to brainstorm a way forward to integrate CSR into core business values of the corporate houses, and to give an opportunity to network and build mutually enriching strategic relationships with various stakeholders and key partners.
The agenda of CSR fair includes:
- Business leaders and Directors of Companies to gain valuable insights into emerging trends and issues concerning CSR
- CSR Heads, CSR Committee members seeking creative and innovative ideas for CSR planning
- Compliance managers who wish to seek solutions and advise relating to CSR
- Civil society groups, development sector organizations to explore partnership opportunities with industries
- Development sector organizations seeking like-minded corporate houses for CSR projects and collaboration
- Social entrepreneurs for mutually enriching networking and partnerships
- CSR consultants for networking and partnerships
- Academicians, researchers, implementing agencies and other stakeholders.
The importance of this event is in the light of sequences after the introduction of the Companies Act as it has changed the CSR landscape in India by putting in place-legal provisions that have had a domino effect that includes better informed and sensitized stakeholders, and a development sector that has begun to align itself to accepting CSR funds from corporates. In the realm of Business Sustainability, SEBI has mandated Business Responsibility Reporting for top 500 listed companies based on their market capitalization from 1 April 2016. This move is an effort to improve corporate governance practices and transparency in terms of reporting of socially responsible activities carried out by the business houses.