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