About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
“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”.
CSR is not a new concept in India. From the Vedic ages we have seen a reflection of business responsibility towards society. In the very beginning of Vedic preaching we read about "Sah Navavtuh Ma Vidvishavhe", which means, "May we together shield each other and may we not be envious towards each other".
Business in ancient India was seen as a legitimate, integral part of society. The core function of business was to create wealth for society through manufacturing, selling, distributing their offerings. It was based on an economic structure that believed in the philosophy of "Sarva loka hitam" which means ‘‘the well-being of all stakeholders".
India’s largest and internationally best-known companies - TATAs and BIRLAs endorsed the principle of business being a “TRUSTEE OF SOCIETY’S WEALTH” espoused by Mahatma Gandhiji and have led the way in making corporate social responsibility an intrinsic part of their business plans.
These companies have been deeply involved with social development initiatives such as building of institutions for education and learning, hospitals, etc in the communities surrounding their facilities or in areas where these facilities are not available.
J R D Tata, who was instrumental in inducing social change through his numerous efforts remarked, ‘‘While profit motive no doubt provides main spark for any economic activity, any enterprise which is not motivated by consideration of urgent services to the community becomes outmoded soon and cannot fulfill its real role in modern society.’’
As said by Peter Drucker “The 21st century will be the century of the social sector organization. The more economy, money, and information become global, the more community will matter.”
A business has a lot of responsibility to the community around its location and to the society at large. These responsibilities include:
On Swachh Bharat Mission, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has said that the pursuit of cleanliness can be an economic activity, contributing to GDP growth, reduction in healthcare costs, and a source of employment.
Linking cleanliness to tourism and global interest in India, the Prime Minister said world-class levels of hygiene and cleanliness are required in India’s top fifty tourist destinations, to bring about a paradigm shift in India’s global perception.
Under DPE Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, contributions to Swachh Bharat Kosh set up by the Central Government for promotion of sanitation and to Clean Ganga Fund set up by the Central Government for the rejuvenation of River Ganga shall also be considered as expenditure under CSR.
CSR and Sustainability Policy of ITPO
- The thrust of CSR and Sustainability is on capacity building, empowerment of communities, inclusive socio-economic growth, environment protection, promotion of green and energy efficient technologies, development of backward region, and upliftment of the marginalized and under-privileged section of the society.
- There is an underscored need for the top management of ITPO to be passionately involved in carrying forward the agenda of corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
- ITPO will strictly adhere to CSR and Sustainability Guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises and the applicable Act & Rules of the Companies Act 2013. The CSR initiatives/activities will be implemented with the approval /monitoring accordingly.
- Planning & Implementation
- Delegation of the task of planning and implementation of activities under this policy to some officials in the company is not of much help. If the philosophy of CSR and Sustainability is to ingrained in the DNA of ITPO, and be reflected in the organizational culture and involve all employees engaged in diverse business operations and activities, it is imperative that the top management leads from the front in bringing about the required attitudinal and processual transformation. They have to demonstrate their belief in the change in order to bring about the desired change. The two-tier structure, comprising of a Board level committee headed by a senior executive of not less than one rank below the Board level which ITPO is mandated to create, is expected to have the authority and influence to be able to steer the CSR and Sustainability agenda of the Company.
- The only requirement insisted upon in this policy is that ITPO should prepare a fairly accurate assessment of the needs of the stakeholders likely to benefitted from the CSR and Sustainability activity, which would also help in making a fair estimation of the social/ environmental impact after the conclusion of the activity.
- The unutilized budget for CSR activities planned for a year will not lapse and will, instead, be carried forward to the next year, as per Companies Act, 2013. ITPO will have to disclose the reasons for not fully utilizing the budget allocated for CSR and Sustainability activities planned for each year.
- The CSR and Sustainability activities undertaken under this policy should also have the approval / ratification of ITPO’s Board. Even if the Board were to delegate the authority to approve the CSR and Sustainability activities to the Board level committee, as mentioned in para 2.1, ultimately the ratification of such activities by the Board of Directors would be required.
- ITPO should refrain from taking up activities which are clearly mandated to be performed by the Government and/ or for which Central/ State Government’s schemes have been sanctioned, as it could result in unnecessary duplication. However, the ITPO can supplement the efforts of the Government in crossing the ‘last mile’ for achieving the targets/ goals, if it is accurately assessed that the resource gap and inadequate capacities are critical constraints in achieving the targets/ goals of a particular government scheme/ initiative/ welfare project. Here also, duplication in allocation of funds must be strictly avoided.
- A brief summary of CSR & Sustainability activities should be included in its Annual Report.
- Monitoring of CSR & Sustainability project goes concurrently with implementation, and it as important. Monitoring is essential to assess if the progress is on expected lines in terms of timeliness, budgetary expenditure and achievement of physical targets. The Policy is indicative only which will be followed strictly in line with the various Guidelines/ Rules, etc. issued by Government of India/ Statutory Bodies/ Administrative Ministry, etc. from time to time.
CSR Initiatives of ITPO
Contributions to Swachh Bharat Kosh & Clean Ganga Fund by ITPO under CSR initiatives
India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has been actively contributing towards welfare of various weaker sections of the society under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. During the period 2011-12 to 2014-15, ITPO has made contribution amounting Rs.1.44 crores for various activities.
Maintaining the continuity of CSR initiatives for the year 2015-16, an amount of Rs. One Crore each towards “Swachh Bharat Kosh” and “Clean Ganga Fund” of Govt. of India was contributed.
The cheques were handed over by Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing Industries in the presence of Shri L.C. Goyal, CMD, ITPO, Ms. Shubhra Singh, ED, ITPO and other high dignitaries to Dr. Vivek Joshi, Administrator, Swachh Bharat Kosh, Ministry of Finance and Dr. B. Rajender, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation during the inauguration function of Aahar’ 2016 on 15.3.16 at Shakuntlam Convention Centre, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
In the first phase to achieve the MOU target, ITPO required to spend at least Rs.38 lakhs for the financial year 2014-15, i.e, before 31.3.2015. Initially, ITPO decided to construct toilet blocks in SDMC area, New Delhi under the CSR activities of ITPO for the year 2014-15, which could not be materialized before 31.3.2015. ITPO Board has also considered alternatively to spend Rs.38 lakhs under Swachh Bharat Kosh set up by the Central Government for promotion of sanitation in the event of not achieving the construction of toilet blocks targets.
As per the DPE guidelines, the contribution towards Swachh Bharat Kosh is considered as CSR activities. To make success of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission of Government of India, ITPO Management contributed an amount of Rs.38 lakhs to Swachh Bharat Kosh on 31.3.2015.
The cheque was handed over to Dr. Vivek Joshi, Administrator, ‘Swachh Bharat Kosh’, Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi by Shri V. Kumar, GM & FA, ITPO. Shri Sanjay Aggarwal, Director, Ministry of Finance and Shri S.R.. Sahoo, Company Secretary, ITPO were also present during the handing over of the cheque. ITPO like previous years continues to take CSR initiatives being a sensible and committed organisation towards the society at a large.
Asha Kiren - Home for Mentally Challenged
The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) under its CSR initiatives programmes for the year 2013-14, with the approval of Competent Authority and in consultation with Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, provided the following items for Asha Kiran Home, Rohini, for the mentally retarded persons so to ease the workload of the supporting staff so that their services can be utilized in other areas of priority for the differently abled inmates of Asha Kiran Home.
Mrs. Rita Menon, Chairperson and Managing director, ITPO handed over the aid and appliances to the inmates of the Home in the presence of Dr.(Mrs.) Satbir Bedi, Principal Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT, Delhi, Mr. Malay Shrivastava, Executive Director, ITPO, Dr. B.S.Banarjee, Administrator, Asha Kiran Home for Mentally challenged, Department of Social Welfare, govt. of NCT, Delhi, senior government / ITPO officials and inmates of Asha Kiran Home. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Rita Menon stressed on the need to develop, stimulating and conducive learning environment for these persons, particularly in skill development. While highlighting the role of CSR Initiatives, she pointed out that there is also a need to equip the physically and mentally disabled persons by providing them special education, therapies and multiple skill training so that they are able to participate in social and economic spheres at par with others.
She also mentioned that ITPO in the past installed solar street lighting at Avantika in the year 2011. According to ITPO Chief the project had twin purposes – providing a much needed facility to the home while at the same time setting an example for saving on conventional sources of energy. Besides, ITPO undertook the construction of separate washroom blocks for boys and girls of the Asha Kiran Home.
In addition to above, ITPO in consultation with Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi also provided 60 nos. Geriatric Mattresses for Old Age Home, Bindapur, 1 No. of Chapati Making Machine and 1 No. Dough Kneading Machine for the kitchen for Leprosy affected beggars, Tahirpur, Delhi.
In addition to above, ITPO also extended assistance to weaker section of society by allotting booths under CSR initiatives to the constituents of MSME at International Leather Goods Fair, Kolkata 2014.
For 2012-13, it was planned to construct a Dormitory Building at a cost of Rs.34 lakhs in Asha Kiran Home. But later on the Administrator of Asha Kiran Home conveyed to ITPO that the Govt. of NCT of Delhi has sanctioned funds for the construction of two Dormitory Buildings and as a result they will not be able to utilize ITPO’s funds for the same purpose. Therefore, an alternative project was undertaken.
This was in the form of identifying differently-abled persons in the NCR through the Social Welfare Department of the Government of NCT of Delhi, who also assessed their requirements of aids & appliances. Based on these inputs, ITPO procured aids & appliances for 745 beneficiaries and handed over the same in a distribution ceremony presided over by the Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare, Government of Delhi, Prof. Kiran Walia. Besides, 4 Ambulances were also donated to the Disability Wing of the Social Welfare Department during the ceremony.
During the current year, the Department of Public Enterprises issued an Office Memorandum on 24th June 2013, which refers to the recent calamitous natural disaster witnessed in the State of Uttarakhand and urges CPSEs to undertake relief and rehabilitation measures. To this end, it emphasizes the utmost urgency involved in CPSEs contributing to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund under their CSR & Sustainability activities.
Accordingly, ITPO has decided to contribute Rs.50.00 lakhs to PM’s Relief Fund by allocating Rs.41.00 lakhs under the CSR head and by collecting Rs. 9.00 to 10.00 lakhs through voluntary contribution of one-day’s salary from the employees of the Organisation.
During 2011-12, ITPO had undertaken a CSR project at a cost of Rs.26.85 lakhs for installing Solar Street Lighting using LED lamps in a social welfare institution under the Department of Social Welfare, Government of NCT of Delhi, namely, Asha Kiran Home (for mentally challenged children) in Rohini, Delhi.
Installation of the Solar Power Plant of 7.2 KWp was completed with maintenance free battery bank feeding 45 LED lamps of 35 watts each. The system was designed to serve for over two days autonomously when there is no sun light. Flexibility was also built in with the possible expansion in future as well as the relocation of the street lights.
The identification of the project activity as well as its execution was done by a duly constituted project team through a central public sector enterprise (under CSIR) namely, Central Electronics Limited, Ghaziabad. The project was completed well within the decided timelines as per the laid down plan of action.
This project duly addresses the social and environmental concerns of the beneficiary institution by promoting the use of solar power and energy efficient technology as well as the welfare concerns of the mentally challenged inmates of this Home.
The project also made it economically feasible to save energy consumption resulting in an estimated monetary saving of nearly Rs.19.50 lakhs annually. This saving made it possible for administrators of the Home to utilize it for the welfare of the inmates.
Continuing with the focus on Asha Kiran Home in 2011-12, ITPO undertook the project of constructing separate toilet blocks for its boy and girl inmates, through the Public Works Department, Government of NCT of Delhi. This project entailed a project outlay of Rs.31.50 lakhs.In recognition of ITPO’s voluntary efforts in undertaking CSR activities, the Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE) conferred on ITPO, ‘CSR Corporate Governance Award 2012’.