- Wednesday | 11 Jul, 2012
- Syed Qasim Ali Shah, Anam Khan
- Books, Annual report
Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept newly emerging globally. The idea is rapidly spreading over the corporate sector; many firms have instated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies in their long-term plans. These strategies are not just social welfare schemes but in fact well-thought and methodically developed policies. Moreover, to promote and ensure the occurrence of CSR practices governments have imposed purposely designed policies.
However, in the case of Pakistan there seems to be gap in the policies levied by the government as well as in the goal orientation of the private sector. This study aims to understand the existing dynamics of CSR in Pakistan as well as the barriers to its implementation. The focus is primarily on the sugar sector; one of the most significant segments of the economy.
This sector is important on many levels; sugar is an important cash crop contributing much to the treasury of the country, the production process involves small farmers, medium farmers as well as huge corporate firms and being a staple good it is demanded and consumed by the entire population.
Applying the value-chain analysis the situation persisting in the sugar division regarding corporate governance was researched and scrutinized carefully. The evaluation took into consideration all aspects and produced this report with respect to the views of all stakeholders. It was found that the farming community was suffering largely due to exploitative practices by some sugar mills. These exploitative actions included: low and fixed rates for the crop, illegal deductions, restriction to the market and unjust buying terms and conditions. The situation worsens leading to violence.
It was found the conceptualization of CSR requires major changes not only in the policies and strategies of the government and companies but also major renovation was required in the mindsets of the policymakers, managers of the private sector as well as the consumers of the product. Activism lacks not only in the private sector but on all levels. The consumers, policymakers and the managers need to be educated on the term CSR and its derivations as well as its divisions; furthermore its application in the sugar arena of Pakistan needs to be discussed through open debates.
The civil society should form associations and platforms where important but weak stakeholders such as the farmers can voice their opinions and complaints. The government should also take the idea more seriously as it will help not only the nation socially but also economically. It was recommended that policies should be designed and enacted to ensure that social responsibility is not just a charitable act but is legally supported and secured by the government.