Seminar urges promotion of CSR culture in corporate sector

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a day-long seminar has urged local and international companies to take initiatives by introducing available and flourishing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) culture in the country for poverty alleviation.

Addressing a 6th seminar and panel discussion on poverty alleviation through CSR here, organized by National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH), the speakers said that it is a high time that corporate sector should be encouraged by the institutions concerned and corporate leaders to promote CSR culture.

They said that efforts should be made to encourage companies to publish their CSR policies and practices and such reports should be made a voluntary part of the Code of Corporate Governance for listed companies.

Board Director and Member Regional Panel of experts, Global Water Partnership South Asia, Dr Pervaiz Amir said that without the observance of avowed goals, progress towards elimination of poverty is not possible.

He added the principles of policy for promotion and social justice and the economic well-being of the people are subject to availability of resources to meet the basic human necessities.

He said that promotion of the education and economic interests of backward classes and areas, removal of illiteracy and providing free and compulsory education and securing well-being of people are only possible through the support of private and public sector.

He added the government cannot be expected to successfully meet all the challenges and it was now imperative for civil society to supplement and complement the government in a concerted effort to uplift the alienated segments of the population.

He said that contribution from the corporate sector, as being an integral part of civil society, was urgently required and CSR initiatives should be facilitated and welcomed at all levels in the shape of increased incentives and other relief.

Former Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Abdullah Yousaf said that to overcome the gap between need and availability of resources, corporate sector has to play its role in the development of the society.

He said that promotion of CSR culture is imperative to ensure provision of basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical to the people with focusing on resource mobilization.

He said that corporate sector’s support in the country is not according to the need and urged to welcome such initiatives of corporate sector. He added encouragement to this initiative will help establish CSR standards and promote competitive culture amongst companies in the field of corporate social responsibility.

NFEH President Mohammad Naeem Qureshi said that the forum has been working for the last 15 years to create awareness among public about the important issues related to health and environment.

He said that the government can play a positive role in promoting CSR in the country by creating an environment conducive to investment, and by working with the corporate sector for the implementation of community development programmes at the grassroots level.

He highlighted the need to adopt best water and energy conservation practices in society to promote environment and useful plants.

Other speakers who spoke on the occasion included CEO Ericsson Mr Ashley Gold, Chairman Bin Qutub Foundation Bashir Malik, Mehmood Rehmani from Pakistan Engineering Council, Environmental officer Bahria Town Hina Ambar, Chief Executive Human Development Foundation Azhar Saleem, Jamil Bhatti, Sibtain Raza Lodhi from National Highways Authority and Vice President NFEH Engr Nadeem Ashraf.

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