Ad Here  
In the horns of a dilemma A dual GST that will protect prosperous states Cleansing Indian retail Jobs - Lost, Changed or Gained Research for survival... South India’s 100 most valuable companies Land, land everywhere, but... Industry can’t get it from Mars, yet 1800 parties registered with EC – Less than 60 contest elections INDIA keeps its date with destiny Kudos to GIM organisers... Much can be done by us Welcome Measures. Work for 10X Change Well-administered State Tax evaders’ get out of Jail-Free Card A Fine division of responsibilities Breaking news or breaking credibility? Focus on southern TN... Why (not) abolish? A tale of two Bihar babus Little surplus after salaries, subsidies and debt servicing Technology and economic development should be linked CSR, tech revolution and bank crisis Sustainably developing manufacturing sector… Why throw baby with bath water? Chennai Airport-Ready for a rapid take off... No groundnuts in groundnut oil! What the big B should offer? Pool energy prices Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu Two welcome measures from the chief minister... They add lustre to Padma Awards Deming awardees galore! Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation An eco-friendly commute in Mysuru Rail-road Rajaraman Star of the South MS Installed Reform this licence to…kill Oh my GOLD TN - so much to offer... Tryst with GST Much ado about nothing Indian GST – Between extremes… The Great Fall CAD and the emergency thereof How will it PAN OUT Healthy finances of the Chennai Corporation The deluge and the several kindly souls After all, customer is the king Welcome move to widen the tax net… If not Tamil Nadu, where else? Truce at Kasturi Buildings Better relations with UK... A historic indirect tax reform PC please be our Santa Strategic planning the missing link Public investments and welfare will surge BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms You too T M Krishna? Ganesh’s mantras Welcome rains for damaged roads... Low profile moves Need for radical RBI reform Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation A blueprint for the future Weaving wealth of western Tamil Nadu Skewed Economic Zones? Make way for Make in India... Economy through the month Policy Makers Sowing seeds of hope It’s raining funds for states. Really? Miles to go... Sardar Sarovar – the seventy year itch A gratifying record When the examiner cheated... Wanted: decentralised financial system Need plan over the long term planning An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi Outward ho Focus on agriculture and human resources
CSR, tech revolution and bank crisis
There was a time when Chennai presented top ranking intellectuals to deliver lectures on current and emerging subjects. Brilliant public speakers like S Narayanaswami (Chitra & Co) and Dr P S Lokanathan used to enthral large audiences on current economic issues.

With interest in Tamil Nadu shifting to politics and cinema and with the business leaders’ concern over the bottom line, one witnessed a decline in such discussions. I was therefore, impressed with three lectures, each topical and brilliant, delivered on consecutive days.

N Vaghul who took ICICI to great heights presented a delectable review of the crisis in the banking sector. The next day I heard Cognizant Lakshmi Narayanan make a brilliant address on corporate social responsibility. On the third day,  S Ramadorai (of Tatas and the National Skill Development Corporation) spoke on the fourth industrial revolution. Each dealt extensively on the tasks ahead.  Excerpts:  


Are CSR activities on the right track?


The President of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry S G Prabhakharan mentioned that the mandatory two per cent of profits stipulated as contribution for corporate social responsibility helped raise Rs 20,000 crore; but only around Rs. 6000 crore could be spent.

Cognizant’s Lakshmi Narayanan explained this amount in perspective: non-government organisations receive and spend annually Rs 60,000 crore, while the CSR spend amounted to just a tenth of this. Lakshmi provided a measure of the government spend on welfare: Rs 80,000 crore budgeted by the rural development department.  If  the welfare schemes of all the ministries such as education, health, and social welfare are aggregated it amounts to around Rs. 800,000 crore. He quoted Bhaskar Chatterjee’s report on the impact: that the corporates create greater impact of such spending on welfare than the government. If the government and the corporates work together the impact will be phenomenal.  

Lakshmi referred to the interest of the government to direct the CSR allocations to areas designed to reduce its own burden! He cited three instances:

One, the HRD ministry seems to believe that the large expenditure incurred on higher education has to be shared by corporates because they benefit from the copious availability of educated manpower. IIT education involves large subsidisation by the government. If the government has to reduce this, it can either increase fees four’fold or arrange loans that could be repaid by the students. The government seems to nudge gently IITs to tap the CSR resources.

Two, the National Skill Development Corporation envisages skilling 100 million over 12 years. Six years of these have already gone. Since the skilled manpower would directly benefit industry, why not make the corporates bear the cost?

Three, can a separate  fund be created to which corporates can contribute to provide succour for natural calamities.

Lakshmi pointed to the eroding freedom to spend by corporates on CSR issues. He did concede that this erosion is directed at worthy causes. “Can this mean the large spend by corporates and by NGOs on public schools would end? Can this mean large corporates like Infosys would be forced to vacate donating midday meal programme for school children through the Akshaya Patra?” he asked.

1 2 3 4
Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236