Social development through CSR stressed

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Bhubaneswar: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the growth engine of social development, said Chief Operating Officer of Nalco Foundation Subash Chandra Ray here on Thursday.

He said companies functioning in any state should promote social development which would create opportunities for affected people and peripheral areas.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Development’ organised by Institute of Media Studies (IMS), Ray said the specified Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, has prescribed that every company having net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more or a net profit of Rs 5 crore shall ensure that the company spends at least two per cent of the average net profit each year.

Nalco Foundation has been fulfilling its obligations towards social upliftment in Angul, Damanjodi, Puri & other places in the State. Under its CSR progarmmes, schemes like ‘Nalco ki Laadli’ for cash award to meritorious girl students from Class 8 – 10 and others have been launched. Nalco is also setting up an eye hospital at Angul with an investment of around Rs.30 crore with help of L.V. Prasad Eye Hospital. The Foundation has also contributed a lot towards making the pilgrimage town of Puri as the first Swachh and Iconic City of India, he informed.

Secretary of AAINA Sneha Mishra said the main motive of CSR is to promote social development focusing education, health, sanitation, development of infrastructure, health, education, roads, environment, water and power supply. The state has developed first-of-its-kind interactive portal GOCARE (csr.odisha.gov.in) which acts as a one-stop shop for all CSR-related activities in Odisha. The portal contains district- and block-level Human Development Indices which assist corporate to take better decisions during project selection, she added.

Expressing concern over companies not complying with the provision, she however said several companies barely allocated funds towards CSR activities. The Registrar of Companies (RoC), working under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), has initiated action against hundreds of companies.

Emphasizing on CSR intervention in village industries, proprietor of Ananteswar Engineering Works Bhramarbara Swain said the CSR provisions need a holistic policy review and only mandating CSR for businesses houses will not garner any fruitful results. Reports have pointed out several loopholes in the CSR policy in India. CSR activities with village industries and social entrepreneurship will accelerate growth in rural India and create more employment, he added.

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