HYDERABAD: Industrial growth in the State is expected to bring a significant improvement in civic infrastructure in villages, as the government will lay due emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of companies.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, at a recent meeting with industry bodies, had sought their cooperation for improving amenities in villages where new units are established.
The CM’s request was well received amid reports that some officials were mounting pressure on companies to do certain things rather than leaving the choice to them. Industries in the capital region are doing their bit to improve the condition of villages by taking up various CSR activities, but they have not attracted much attention.
“If one enterprise constructs a hospital, another company does something elseA commonality of approach to priorities recommended by the government will give excellent results” observed Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry Federation (ACCIF) executive director P. Bhaskara Rao.
He said there was nothing wrong in officials insisting that selected projects should be taken up, as they will be doing so in public interest. On its part, ACCIF has promised to contribute to the development of as many as 500 Smart Villages in the State. An Industries Department official, who did not want to be named, said some proactive officials were vigorously pursuing CSR projects, but at no point forced entrepreneurs to follow their dictates. Industrialists, he added, had been asked to bridge the gap in funding by the Central and State governments.
At least two per cent of the net profit of a company had to be spent on CSR activities earlier, but it was recently raised to five per cent to secure funding for facilities like hospitals and drinking water plants . Besides, companies are allowed to take up CSR activities jointly for achieving larger objectives.
(The Report first appeared in The Hindu)