This refers to “Problematic mandate” (November 26). There is a rising concern with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and it is about more things than one. For starters, 2 per cent CSR was put in as a non-mandatory provision. But it is not infrequent for companies to receive notices or phone calls from various parts of the MCA, putting pressure and making it appear as if a failure to reach the target is a punishable offence. If one considers the CSR for companies to be the same as the constitutional “Directive Principles” for the government, then it becomes clear, since no one in 68 years of our Republic has been prosecuted for not implementing these principles. Then there are the deviations the editorial described, and also the danger of CSR money going to pet projects of the powerful. Clearly, if the law permits CSR money to go to build a statue and not benefit the common man, then there is need to change the law.
Here is a simple fact. A business enterprise is not about furthering social welfare or achieving social good. It is about making available goods and services that some customers demand, and by doing that, the enterprise makes money for the owner, without breaking any law of the land. “Social responsibility” is not the responsibility of a “corporate”; quite the same way, CSR is not the responsibility of an individual or a partnership firm. Social upliftment projects are to be funded in two ways only — public spending, that is, the government budget, and private charity, that is, by individuals, trusts and associations.
P Datta, Kolkata
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