Separate Cell to Tap CSR Funds Mooted

BANGALORE:  Eyeing for new avenues to mobilise resources for its various welfare programmes, the State government is now looking at corporate houses, which have to spend a part of their profit on welfare programmes as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The government is contemplating setting up a separate cell for contacting corporate houses and IT majors based in Bangalore and other parts of the state to involve them in its welfare programmes like providing drinking water in rural areas, setting up water purification plants in areas where water is contaminated with fluoride, providing modern equipment for hospitals, construction of toilets, class rooms, setting up science and computer laboratories in schools.

According to the New Companies Act, companies with networth of `500 crore or more, or having a turnover of `1,000 crore or more and those which record a net profit of `5 crore or more during any financial year would have to spend at least 2 per cent of the average net profits for the preceding three years on Corporate Social Responsibility  initiatives.

“Karnataka has a huge potential to tap funds under the CSR as there are hundreds of big companies, multinational companies and IT giants based in Bangalore. We need an organised, co-ordinated approach to channelise these funds for our welfare programmes. We are yet to start the process of listing such potential companies.

The process will be started soon,” said Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra, speaking to Express.

The Minister also stated that he would discuss the issue with Chief Minster Siddaramaiah soon on setting up a separate cell to tap Corporate Social Responsibility  funds.

 It would be appropriate to have the cell under the Industries Department, which is headed by the Chief Minister.

GE Joins Hands for Sakala

The government has already made a beginning in this regard with General Electric (Global Operations) joining hands with the Sakala programme, to ensure timely rendering of services for citizens from various government departments and agencies.

General Electric would provide financial assistance for setting up Sakala kiosks in rural areas as self employment initiative for rural youths, the company’s volunteers would provide training for rural youths to avail the Sakala services, Jayachandra said.

The companies would also look out for scope for their brand promotion and other benefits in return for their initiatives.

“The State government could hope for at least 1,000 crore annually by conservative estimates,” Jayachandra said.