Panel Discussion on Company Bill and CSR Held in Mumbai

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Cource on CSR in India

 

 

 

 

INDIACSR News Network
Title of the Event: The Companies Act 2013 &  Corporate Social Responsibility organized by General Carbon Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Level of the Event: Panel Discussion
Date of Event: 11th October 2013
Timing: 10:00 AM – 16:00 PM
Venue: Fortune Select Exotica Hotel, Plot No. 16, Sector 19 D, Vashi, Navi Mumbai

Topic covered:

Implications of the draft CSR rules provisions in the companies act 2013
Can CSR integrate economic, environmental and social objectives with the company’s operation growth
Collaborative CSR Efforts

 

Key features of the Event:

Dr. Rambabu, CEO, General Carbon Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai as a moderator of the panel discussion provided a brief account of the CSR provisions (section 135) in the newly enacted Companies Act. He invited the panelists to focus on the key questions of how the provisions came into existence and the desirability and applicability of it. Why was the need to have CSR as a mandatory provision? How the current rules if implemented can improve stakeholder trust and long term shareholder value and economic development in India.

indiacsr eventsG Udaya Bhaskar, Senior Vice-President, Reliance Industries, said with the act of 2013 it would be interesting to see how businesses use the new provision of CSR rules in the interest of business and society. He also wanted the panel and participants to deliberate whether Government has relinquished its responsibility with the new provision of CSR and wondered if  CSR mandate can work  in a soft legal(penalty not specified) path. He further quoted an example of an survey carried out by IIM, Kolkotta on CSR Indexing, a base line study for about 200 companies of which more than 150 companies contribute to CSR and out of these companies about 68 companies have their own trust working on CSR and focus on health, education and women empowerment.

Dr. M. Thiripal Raju, Director, Indian Institute of Capital Markets, said as far as the desirability of the act is concerned, the law is definitely required and it has come probably late. He mentioned that there is a need for companies to make their business sustainable for long term and for that the society and stakeholders have to be healthy.

Zakir H Molla, Chief Manager CSR, HPCL, said, once the law is made mandatory, it no longer becomes just responsibility but it becomes accountability, creating benefits to the society at large.

Ms. Shubha Srinivasan, Head, National CSR Hub, TISS, said that the challenge of the provision of rules and act is identifying credible and competent implementing agencies or NGOs and how companies can engage with them. She mentioned that CSR hub at TISS, is empanelling 235 NGOs of various verticals. She said as far as the act is concerned it’s too early to argue whether the act will have viable benefits, as of now the act covers the quantitative aspect (expenses and projects) and would be good to see inclusion of qualitative aspect (benefits to the community and business) once the act becomes notified. She also mentioned that the provision of the rules should trickle down to the beneficiaries.

Paresh Tewary, Chief Sustainability Officer, JSW Group said, the act 2013 specifically shifts focus from charity to responsibility and accountability, from inputs to outcomes, from spend to impact and towards inclusive growth. With the act coming into being corporates might gain by developing their current and future markets, measurable inputs to public welfare at large and stakeholders; and in turn the county will gain.

K.H. Viswanathan, Director, RSM Astute Consulting Group raised a question whether  the CSR provisions in the Companies Act 2013 shifts a part of its responsibility to corporate, in order to improve delivery efficiency  by effectively using  managerial and other resources of the corporate. He also suggested that the companies can use such CSR budgets to further indirectly and in the long term to propel their business. He further stated that if the connect is established as to how the act will benefit the company and society, then the implementation and the act in itself will be a grand success and without this connect the act will be a mere compliance and form filling exercise. If this is achieved then it will be great revolution in Corporate India. He highlighted that as the Government machinery may find it difficult to administer to all the corporates in India which are earning profits of more than 5 crores, it may be prudent to take up the administration of the provisions in phases. Also better guidance on where to spend and what constitutes CSR is desired.

Contact Person: Dr. Rambabu, CEO, General Carbon Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd
Web address of the Event: www.general-carbon.com or write to at info@general-carbon.com

General Carbon Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
5th floor, Great Social Building 60, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Road, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra- 400001, India
Tel: +91 22 2266 3201/3301

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