Monday, November 5, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility



With the mandate on CSR, the Government has clearly given an indication that, its resources are too short to reach the needy and desperate in our country.  I am certainly not in favor of this initiative. It is not like saying that a ‘Corporate should do only so much’; as, an organization has to do its bit to support and bring inclusiveness. But mandating activities like CSR upon its financial numerical is hard to fathom.
I have always believed that giving is different from sharing. Corporations give, they don’t share. This giving can be more impactful without any strings attached by the Government. If the Government is thinking of poverty eradication through CSR, I am afraid it isn’t going to succeed.  In addition to employment generation and direct contribution to the economy, I feel the Government is asking for too much through this mandate. In turn the Government should consider making effective use of taxpayer’s money. It should look for means to improve the existing PDS system and supply chain to beat the rot. Instead of looking at introducing new welfare schemes every election, it should ensure effective and successful outcome of the current schemes. The center cannot shy away from its responsibilities.
Typically, large corporations try and touch those sections of the society that get neglected by the Government either unintentionally or intentionally. CSR becomes more logical, when the respective Government scheme’s have played their roles and the gap of have not’s have reduced after that effort of Government’s social and welfare schemes. In a vast nation like ours, it is impossible for a single category or group to bring in the change.  The treatment of CSR should be different from the other public policy of the Government.
My belief is that if Corporations (Public or Private),have corporate governance as one of their top priorities, pay correct taxes on time and generate merit based employment, they’ll accomplish half of the job that a non corrupt nation would want. The accumulated wealth should be judiciously invested into areas like basic skill development, grass root sports, healthcare and sanitation improvement. Because the Government schemes have lesser impact on these areas, they should be of prime focus of the corporations. Many Public enterprises having rural presence are doing a brilliant job of creating communities, women self held groups to bring in this social change. CSR involves substantial investment of time and energy. Mandating it could cause inward pressure onto the Corporations and things could go for a toss.

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