With globalization and economic liberalization in 1990s, and partial withdrawal of controls and licensing systems there was a boom in the economic growth of the country. This led to the increased momentum in industrial growth, making it possible for the companies to contribute more towards social responsibility. What started as charity is now understood and accepted as responsibility. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has highlighted “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”
Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013 has given legal weighting and direction to CSR activities in India, by creating an opportunity for collaboration between the corporate houses, civil society organisations and the Government.
Odisha was among the first states of India to have published a CSR White paper in India. The eco- system is being enabled for companies to invest in and report on social activities. It has been mandatory for large companies to report on CSR projects undertaken and to disclose details including spending on these projects in their annual report. Since CSR is often termed as the third wave of development in India and is expected to have strong impact on the development of Odisha, it is deemed necessary to give attention to CSR and its upshots for the people of the state.
Inter-Agency Round-table on CSR
In the above context, the proposed Inter-Agency Round-table on CSR is expected to provide a platform to be informed, converse, debate and facilitate the complementary and aligned roles of these three constituencies i.e Government, corporate sector and civil society organisations.
The main objectives of the Inter-Agency Round table on CSR are thus:
- Creating a platform for collective informed reflection and action for effective implementation of CSR agenda;
- Building alliances between corporate entities, Civil Society Organisations and the Government for learning, sharing best practices and innovations;
This Roundtable is intended to bring together the stakeholders to buttress CSR for the last mile development of the state and cross fertilize the learning’s for the greater good of the people.