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‘Companies Still Consider CSR Spending A Burden’

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The National CSR conclave was recently inaugurated in Ahmedabad. During the function experts called for companies to focus on the social outcomes of their respective CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. Expert stakeholders were of the opinion that most companies still consider the mandatory 2% CSR spending to be a burden and therefore, their focus is merely on complying and not on the outcome of the initiative.

“The money spent on CSR initiatives often goes wasted because the companies seldom focus on social outcomes. There is no serious impact of the initiatives because most companies consider it as a burden. Instead, companies should leverage the initiatives to build their brands,” said AM Tiwari, CEO, Gujarat CSR Authority.

In fact, according to the data by ministry of corporate affairs, the total CSR spending in the financial year 2014-15 was Rs 8,330 crore which increased to Rs 9,882 crore in the year financial year 2015-16. While the spending went up, the utilization of funds and overall social outcomes were not quantified, said one of the experts at the session.

“While organizations are investing in CSR initiatives, it still remains at the periphery of their vision. It is important to understand and measure the impact and return on investment of the CSR initiatives,” said Tiwari.

Stakeholders and speakers present at the conclave also emphasized on public-private partnerships. Elaborating on this, Aloysius Fernandez, chairman, Myrada, who was also present at the conclave said, “Malnutrition, low-cost healthcare, sanitation, skill development are the key focus areas of the conclave, where there is not just a greater need for private intervention but even government, people’s institutions and voluntary institutions must participate to form a successful CSR model.”

(Times of India)

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