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Odisha government mulls over formation of Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) council

 In another step towards bridging the gaps in priority sectors of development, Odisha government has initiated proposal for institutionalization of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and projects of the corporate houses   operating in the State.

The proposal was discussed in a high level meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Mr. Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall on 5 March ’17 wherein Principal Secretary Industry Mr. Sanjeeb Chopra outlined various facets of the proposal for discussion. Considering the proposal, Chief Secretary Mr. Padhi directed the department to prepare a detail data base of the industries and corporate houses operating in the State who come under the orbit of CSR regulations and identify the areas of converged action.  Development Commissioner Sri R.Balakrishnan advised the department to look in to various models and practices followed in different parts of the country and suggest the model most suitable for Odisha.

 Presenting the proposal, Principal Secretary Mr. Chopra said, “as per preliminary calculation there are near about 287 corporate houses who are taking up some or other CSR activity through their own agencies’.  Available data show, in the year 2014-15 a total of around Rs 344 cr has been allocated by all these corporate houses towards CSR activities. Out of this, around Rs.96 cr has been spent in infrastructure development, Rs.71 has been utilized in educational development, around Rs. 51 cr has been invested in health sector, Rs.41 cr has been spent for environmental protection, Rs.29 cr provided for core livelihood support, Rs.12 cr invested in vocational training and Rs.44 cr has been spent in other CSR activities. The fund allocation and spending pattern show substantial disparity among the districts in getting CSR projects. Around 10 districts have recerived 90% of the CSR resources while some districts have been left out. Many of the CSR projects also fail to have any countable contribution towards priority sectors of the State’s development agenda.

 The Development Commissioner Mr. Balakrishnan along with other members present in the meeting emphasized that formation of a CSR council would help in effective planning and implementation of CSR interventions. It would also facilitate the CSR activities and spending by the companies and help them report on developmental outcomes and impact of their projects. This would make the entire gamut of CSR operations more open, transparent and target oriented.  The meeting also deliberated over the objectives and modus-opreandi of the proposed Council. 

 Principal Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management Dr Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Rural Development Mr. Madhusudan Padhi, Sepcial Secretary Finance Mr. Ashok Kumar Meena, Panchayati Raj Secretary Mr. Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh along with other senior officers from departments of Industry, Planning & Convergence, Finance and IPICOL participated in deliberations.



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