Business leaders and sector experts at a seminar on Wednesday called for a comprehensive and integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy as activities of responsible business directly impacts the goals of SDGs.
They made the observation at the seminar on “propagating CSR projects by corporate in Bangladesh” at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Auditorium in the capital terming it a business imperative.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan who attended the programme as the chief guest said the CSR has manifold impacts on the country’s socio-economic development and to fulfill the obligation the government is planning to create a national council to finalize the CSR policy soon.
He pointed out that Ministry of Finance has already received inputs from various ministries, business associations and policy research institutes to draft guidelines on CSR in Bangladesh.
Dr. ASM Amanullah, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka presented his research findings on CSR impact assessment in the seminar organized by DCCI. DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan delivered the welcome speech.
Dwelling on the history of CSR, the state minister pointed out that Bangladesh a long history of philanthropic activities from time immemorial and CSR is a commonly practiced method of philanthropic activities.
State Minister finance also said attainment of the goals of SDGs requires a strong and effective institutional mechanism involving all stakeholders including public representatives, government and bureaucracy, private sector, civil society and development partners.
Abul Kasem Khan said CSR in Bangladesh is still remains at pre-mature stage. "CSR can be referred as organisational commitment to a certain community aiming at massive welfare which reaps rippled and sustainable socio-economic benefits for others in a society", he said.
"Due to its growing global recognition and engagement, CSR is embedded into SDG 2030", he added. "The SDG will open up the provisions of diverse CSR acts in Bangladesh within cross-sectional manufacturing to service industry" said DCCI President.
"CSR can strongly act as catalyst and facilitate the SDG targets-led cherished economic visions of emerging Bangladesh" he added. He urged the government to finalize National CSR policy and CSR Act.
Sumaya Rashid, Country Director of SR Asia Bangladesh said a CSR guideline will help corporate houses to expedite their CSR activities more. Some of the Asian countries have CSR policy and their CSR activities got institutional framework, she added.
In Bangladesh CSR initiatives are taken in a very scattered manner, but we need to focus on its sustainability and its impact assessment, said Sumaya Rashid.
Golam Mainuddin, Vice President of MCCI, Mahfuzul Haque, a former secretary, Ruhi Murshid Ahmed, Head of CSR, BSRM Group, Jane Alam Romel, Chief Marketing Officer of IDLC, Md. Alauddin Malik, Director of DCCI, M Abu Hurairah, former Vice President of DCCI, Haider Ahmed Khan, FCA, former Senior Vice President of DCCI and Khair Mohammad Khan, former Director AKD were also present at the event.