Raigarh Redefines CSR

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It has reported that, when Amit Kataria, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 2004 batch, took over as the District Collector of Raigarh in May 2011, industries had been facing the worst phase of economic slowdown. The district being the industrial hub of Chhattisgarh, Kataria had all the reasons to worry.

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities funded by the industries had not been in the shape it should have been. The economic recession being one of the reasons. The Electrical Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi took it as a task to put the CSR activities on a right track in the district that had now become a model in the country.

amit kataria“Most of the industries showed the balance sheets recording loss instead of profit and hence escaped from participating in the CSR work,” Kataria told. But for him, the solution was at his finger-tips even as he scanned the papers that corporate submitted for the projects.

While obtaining the environment clearances (EC), the corporate mentioned about the amount to be spent on the CSR activities. “I took it as a point to redefine the CSR activity in Raigarh and asked the companies to spent money on the basis of EC report and not on company’s balance sheet,” Kataria added.

Moving away from the normal practice as his predecessor had been doing, Kataria”who happens to be the 42nd District Collector of Raigarh”constituted a CSR cell at the district level. The cell headed by a senior administrative official has been tasked to execute and monitor the CSR activities in the district that has state’s major industries.

“The basic problem was arbitrariness and ad-hoc nature to CSR estimation and spending,” Kataria said. Even there were many stakeholders; who’s who of the district pressuring corporates to take up CSR work of their interest. The corporate were relieved of such pressure with the activation of the cell.

Source: Business Standard

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