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The News

Published Date: Jul 5, 2012

CORPORATE SECTOR NEEDS TO TRANSFORM FOR WELFARE OF SOCIETY: TAREEN

Eminent politician and entrepreneur Jahangir Khan Tareen has said that corporate sector needs to transform itself into socially responsible business entities for pro-poor growth and overall welfare of society.

Mr Tareen was speaking as chair at a seminar on ‘The state of corporate social responsibility in Pakistan — an illustrative example of sugar production’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Two SDPI reports ‘Corporate social responsibility (CSR): studying the sugar production process in Pakistan’ and ‘Corporate conscience: CSR in Pakistan — a study’ were also launched on the occasion.

Mr Tareen said that thinking socially and ensuring the well-being of the stakeholders could lead to a successful and profitable business. He shared his business model of his sugar mill where he integrated the business strategy with welfare of sugarcane farmers through micro-credit and agricultural technical support. This, he said, resulted in unprecedented increase in production and profitability. He also mentioned some of his social welfare interventions such as providing funds to farmers for deep well turbine pumps, building schools and access roads establishing eye camps in rural communities and provision of artificial limbs for disable people.

Dr. Abid Suleri, SDPI Executive Director, said that philanthropy, benevolence and CSF must not be treated as same and be looked upon more consciously. He said that mere rhetoric and advertisement campaigns by business companies in Pakistan cannot be classified into CSR and there is need to have a structured approach while exploring the linkages between people, profit and prosperity.

Shafqat Munir, Coordinator Asia Rights in Crisis, Oxfam, referring to trilateral approach of CSR involving government, corporate sector and civil society for effective implementation of corporate social responsibility concept, he proposed CSR certification and standardisation for corporate enterprises to further promote the concept.

Shaista Bano, Director, Competition Commission of Pakistan, said that compliance of rules, regulation and abidance of law is pre-requisite for companies besides performing social welfare intervention.

Qasim Shah from SDPI briefed participants on newly created South Asian Network on Sustainability and Responsibility (SANSAR) and said that the network will actively promote concept of CSR to address social, environmental and business related issues across different sectors in the region.

Shaista Sohail, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, said that some of the measures taken by Ministry of Industries facilitated industries to introduce corporate social responsibility in Pakistan.

Iskander Khan, Ex-Chairman, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, Muhammad Imran, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Centre Pakistan, and Anam A Khan also spoke on the occasion.