Shri Anant G. Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises will be inaugurating a three day long CSR Fair from tomorrow (4th to 6th May, 2017) at Hall no. 11 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. This mega event is being 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. to showcase their CSR activities, sharing of their best practices and also an opportunity to connect with other stakeholders.
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.
On this occasion the success stories of creative and innovative CSR interventions will be shared and the stake holders will also be sensitized about leveraging CSR for competitive advantage.
The purpose is to disseminate key information on Section 135 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act as well as the provisions of the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 (CRS Rules) for an operational and comprehensive understanding in addition to the reporting for disclosure of CSR activities and performance.
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.
While some companies still view it as compliance, many have started to realize that solely focusing on profit will prevent a holistic and responsible approach to business that involves social goals such as creating livelihoods, making qualitative education available for all and providing health facilities to the people who cannot afford it, etc.
The questions that arise as we look towards a new fiscal year include what will be the way forward in the forthcoming years and the sustainability strategy of the implemented projects through community engagement thereby reducing the dependency on CSR funds. While the transition from legislation to implementation is always challenging and dynamic, the challenge is to ensure the sustainability and mentioned previously by inducing community ownership of projects.