Corporate Social Responsibility
In recent years the corporate social responsibility is concept which has left its conceptual stage to be accepted as one of the primary goals for the corporate entities. There were times the magnitude of the profit made from a business activity used to be sole criterion in deciding the success or failure. Things have changed in a big way. Business organizations are an important segment of our society controlling its economic life and like any other responsible member of society they are called upon to discharge their social responsibilities and have to take initiatives to broaden and deepen their social commitments. Pursuing a selfish goal of maximizing it own profits and benefits to the exclusion of society as a whole is no longer on and they can not and should not divorce themselves from social realities in which they operate. Thus it has become essential for the corporate entities to focus serious attention towards discharging social responsibilities while doing so in relation to their economic responsibilities.
Business entities govern a substantial part of the economic aspect of our lives and they exercise a very big and powerful influence in the socio-economic aspects. Being part and parcel of our society, they are also looked upon as change agents and leaders in the matter of overall economic development. Although the concept of “Social Audit' has evolved but in the absence of any statutory compulsion on the part of the corporate benefits to conduct such audit, many of them seem to be reluctant or grudging accepting it as it entails cost overlooking the lasting and long term benefits that these social welfare measures produce to society as well as to themselves.
Thus it has become very important as well as urgent to make it compulsory for the business entities to conduct social audit for which appropriate procedures and standards need to be laid down against which the performance of them can be judged and evaluated. It is also important to identify programmes or activities which have a social impact like environmental protection, energy utilization efficiency, fair business practices, human resource development, community development, products development etc.
It is heartening to note that some of the big business houses like ITC, L&T, ACC and many others have been playing leading roles in discharging their social responsibilities and formulated suitable social welfare programmes bringing beneficial changes in the lives of the poor and underprivileged. Some state-owned public sector undertakings like Sail , ONGC and others too are very active in this respect.
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