Published Date: Sep 10, 2013
SDPI Press Release (September 10, 2013)
South Asian Network on Sustainability and Responsibility (SANSAR), a
regional platform on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, has launched its
Pakistan chapter in a ceremony held here on Tuesday.
member countries include Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Presently, Sustainable Development Policy institute (SDPI) –
a founding member of SANSAR – is hosting the secretariat in Pakistan.
launch organized by SDPI was attended by representative from corporate
entities, civil society organizations, academia, public sector, local
communities, network members and the media. Ambassador
(Retd) Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairperson, SDPI Board of Governors, and
Former UN Assistant Secretary General were chair of the event.
Speaking at the occasion, Azra Mujtaba, Additional Finance Secretary (CF), Ministry of Finance said
that unethical business practices needs to be stopped while businesses
have to adopt corporate social responsibility to support and uplift
She was of the view that governments role is primary in promoting social
justice and economic well-being of the people. She highlighted various
government initiatives and policies which bind corporations to
incorporate CSR while doing businesses. She recommended corporate sector to follow US approach by funding universities to explore the potential of CSR locally.”
Kakakhel, Chairperson, SDPI Board of Governors talked of equal role of
government, businesses, media and civil society for any successful CSR
initiative. He highlighted importance of legislation introduced and
implemented by state to ensure CSR desirability. “At the same time
companies has the equal responsibility to integrate these guidelines
into their vision and working” he added while discussing role of
business. He further commented on citizen rights and argued that media
and civil societies should focus on protecting the rights of
communities. Establishment of SANSAR network will help create awareness
and promote the growth of CSR in Pakistan, he added while
congratulating members on initiating network on CSR. He also distributed
certificates among members of SANSAR.
Masud, Director Fazal Industries shared that Pakistan can learn from
Indian experience of CSR, where last year around 15000 CSR initiatives
were executed by businesses with the support of government involving
around 8000 companies, whereas Pakistan stands far behind with not more
than few dozen initiatives. He talked of various obstacles faced by
small and medium size companies to maintain standards and initiate such
projects. He also urged government to announce incentives for small
companies to initiate CSR projects.
Ali Ashar Syed, member of Corporate Affairs Department, Nestlé Pakistan discussed that creating
‘shared value’ is a fundamental part of Nestlé’s way of doing business
that focuses on specific areas of the company’s core business activities
– namely water, nutrition, and rural development – where value can best
be created both for society and shareholders”.
his welcome remarks, Qasim Shah from SDPI informed participants about
CSR projects carried out by SDPI in Pakistan. He said that CSR South
Asia project, initiated with the support of OXFAM-Novib, Netherlands
seeks to encourage businesses to act responsible and take accountability
of their interventions on society and the environment.
Anum A. Khan from Sustainable Development Policy Institute introduced
SANSAR Network which was formed on the South Asian level. Initially
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were the founding members whereas Bhutan
& Sri Lanka are expected to be included in near future. She said
that SANSAR promote
understating of economic, social and environmental responsibilities of
businesses and also aspires to demonstrate the link between CSR,
sustainability and poverty alleviation.