Odisha proposes to set up CSR Council

Bhubaneswar, March 4 (IANS) The Odisha government has proposed to set up a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Council to bridge the gaps in allocation of CSR funds to priority sectors, an official said on Saturday.

The government proposed to set up the council after it found disparity in fund allocation to districts.

The formation of a CSR council would help in effective planning and implementation of CSR interventions, said the official.

A high-level meeting was held in this regard under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi on Saturday.

“The council would also facilitate the CSR activities and spending by the companies and help them report on developmental outcomes and impact of their projects. This would make the entire gamut of CSR operations more open, transparent and target oriented,” the official said.

The meeting also deliberated on the objectives of the proposed council.

Data shows that around 10 districts have received 90 per cent of the CSR resources while some districts have been left out. Many of the CSR projects also failed to have any countable contribution towards priority sectors in the state’s development agenda.

Padhi directed the Industry department to prepare a detailed data base of the industries and corporate houses operating in the state which come under the orbit of CSR regulations.

Development commissioner R. Balakrishnan advised the department to look into various models and practices followed in different parts of the country and suggest the model most suitable for Odisha.

Industry secretary Sanjeev Chopra said, “As per preliminary calculations, there are near about 287 corporate houses which are taking up CSR activity through their own agencies.”

Available data shows that in the year 2014-15, around Rs 344 crore has been allocated by all these corporate houses towards CSR activities.

Of this, around Rs 96 crore has been spent in infrastructure development, Rs 71 crore has been utilised in educational development, around Rs 51 crore has been spent in health sector, Rs 41 crore has been spent for environmental protection, Rs 29 crore provided for core livelihood support, Rs 12 crore in vocational training and Rs 44 crore in other CSR activities.

–IANS

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