Odisha Government calls for uniform CSR spending across the state


Bhubaneswar: In order to have a uniform CSR spending in place, the Odisha Government on Thursday held a meeting with top corporates of the State to discuss about the institutionalization of CSR activities and the related GO CARE (Government of Odisha CSR Administration and Responsive Engagement) portal developed by the State.
Chairing the meet, Mr. Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Industries Departmentspoke about the widespread disparity in CSR spending across districts. The portal revealed that 10 districts of the State received about 93% of the CSR spending during 2014-17.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Niten Chandra, Principal Secretary, Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) and Ms. Mansi Nimbhal, Director SSEPD.
Mr. Chandra spoke about the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 which came into force on April 19, 2017 and brought private establishments under its ambit. He urged corporates to take initiative to extend equal job opportunities to people with disabilities. It was mentioned that the Industrial Policy Resolution 2015 provides corporates with 100% reimbursement on account of contribution towards ESI and EPF scheme for a period of 5 years in MSMEs and priority sectors for employing skilled and semiskilled persons with disabilities.
The State Government has recently constituted a CSR Council headed by the Chief Secretary which aims to institutionalize CSR in the State and reduce the disparity in CSR spending across districts and assist corporates to align their CSR activities with the State’s developmental priorities. The CSR Council during its first meeting in December recommended more than 800 projects provided by the districts and welfare departments for the corporates to consider undertaking as part of their CSR activities.
The State has developed first-of-its-kind interactive portal GOCARE (csr.odisha.gov.in) which acts as a one stop shop for all CSR related activities in the State. The portal contains district and block level Human Development Indices which assists corporates to take better decisions during project selection. The list of CSR projects undertaken by corporates during 2014-18 are presented sector-wise, company-wise and district-wise in map and grid based views. All stakeholders including the citizens can also provide feedback relating to any particular CSR project. This is expected to bring in transparency and synergy in the CSR activities undertaken by the corporates.