Inclusive growth calls for attention to key development challenges : Anant Geete, Hon’ble Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
Industry – both public and private sectors – should adopt one village each towards ensuring inclusive development, according to Shri Anant Gangaram Geete, Hon’ble Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises. He was delivering the Inaugural Address at the Seminar on CSR “Impacting People, Transforming Lives” organized jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Public Enterprises, in New Delhi earlier today.
Appreciating CPSEs work in CSR Activities and their support to Government in initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Mission, under which PSE have contributed in building of large number of toilets, the Minister said that such efforts will go a long way in realizing a transformation in public health, sanitation and hygiene.
The Minister urged the Public Sectors and other Corporates to take initiatives in similar scale in other areas which would contribute in the development of rural areas. He also highlighted the need for building an environment of trust with the local partners while engaging with them in their development. He cited the example of Ratnagiri where the local people and industry came together as partners in development. While the locals supported with land for setting up the industry, local youth were provided the requisite skills which benefitted both the locals and the industry. He urged the companies on coming up with innovative ways of partnership which can be a win –win situation for all stakeholders. This will go a long way in further improving the quality of lives of people, said Shri Geete.
The Minister also unveiled a compendium prepared by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - Transforming Lives through CSR, highlighting the historical journey of CSR within CPSEs. Shri Geete said that, CPSEs have played a leading role in discharging their CSR obligations.
The Compendium showcases the various areas of development where PSEs have been voluntarily spending time and resource to benefit their surroundings, even before the concept of mandatory CSR was introduced. Efforts of public sector enterprises towards subsidizing the cost of education, public health, building infrastructure, providing drinking water has improved the quality of life of people and has been profiled in the Compendium.
Delivering the Keynote Address, Dr Madhukar Gupta, Additional Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, said that the Government has liberalized CSR and given freedom to the public sector companies to innovate their CSR initiatives to contribute in nation building. Dr Gupta said that it is a great opportunity and the world is also looking up to how India is experimenting with this opportunity.
Speaking further at the Session, he said that it is not only funds that are important, but the way in which we leverage our inherent expertise and the human resources to innovate and spend in the areas where there is maximum incremental impact is also important. He urged the companies to leverage this opportunity and build bridges by bringing together different stake holders for the cause of nation building.
Emphasizing on the renewed thrust of companies on CSR, Mr B Prasada Rao, Chairman, CII Council on Public Sector Enterprises and Chairman and Managing Director, BHEL said that evolving from mere philanthropy to social responsibility, the recent years have witnessed the role of CSR developing significantly. There appears to be a discernible trend that while CSR remains largely restricted to community development, it is getting more strategic in nature and is getting linked with business in which the companies are engaged in. He also highlighted BHEL’s novel efforts in the area of organ donation. He shared that all BHEL employees had pledged their eyes and had benefitted around 500 families already, he said.
Presenting his concluding remarks, Dr Nalin Shinghal, Chairman & Managing Director, Central Electronics Limited, said that “A tremendous surge in the progress of the concept of CSR has been witnessed over a span of quite a number of years, elevating it to the highest pedestal of importance in all aspects of business and production, be it private or public. However there is still a long way to go in the arduous journey of CSR and would require continuous innovation and value creations which will provide opportunity for knowledge sharing, he added.
Speaking earlier in the session, Mr. Vimal Wakhlu, Chairman, CII sub Committee on CSR & Sustainable Development, and Chairman and Managing Director, TCIL said that it is indeed a matter of great pride for the Public Sectors that though the ‘mandatory’ directive regarding CSR is meant for profit making CPSEs even loss-making ones are continuing with CSR initiatives, which is a reflection that CSR was embedded in the very DNA of the public sector.
15th September 2015