In one programme on Corporate Social Responsibility organised by some Chamber, one renowned Company Secretary claim that Corporate Social Responsibilities are primary responsibility of a Company Secretary. Within no time, some other members negated this fresh liability with “we have enough” attitude.
The basis definition of CSR says “doing business responsibly”.
The question is “For whom”; for benefit of Society, for growth of society, for reducing social cost.
The question again is “How”; by complying Laws, natural justice and ethics.
The Question again is “How”; you are Company Secretary.
“So what”; you know and may know corporate and all other laws of this and that land, you have knowledge and understanding.
I leaved that discussion.
I again, again and once again read; http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/latestnews/National_Voluntary_Guidelines_2011_12jul2011.pdf.
It is basically all about laws, simple laws with no rocket science. For a nation gifted with the Vedas, Vedanta, Mahabharata and Ramayana, it is already imbibed in our ethos. As a Company Secretary, you know the law of this land or the other. So it should be a matter of guiding the Management on the lines of these laws.
One of my friend have great objection on this claim that company secretary can guide management on these bloody Social Responsibility.
He points, “Charity begin from home so the social responsibility. And who we Company Secretaries are??
Be fair, we hide dirt… and do dirt at home…
What we do??
We work for promoters not for stake holders.
We do check – list job.
We pre – certify forms without checking backgrounds.
We issue Compliance Certificate and Claims Company has maintained all record and registers which even we have not seen.
We compromise for job and assignment.
We draft and only draft whistle blowing policies.
We demand Secretarial Audit but do not list social benefits of such extra cost to stakeholders.
We compare ourselves with Personal secretary of our Managing Directors not Secretary General of United Nations.”
Post – Post Strip:
- In dreams begin responsibilities.[i].
[This article was published in 100th Edition of e – Newsletter (May 2012) of Mysore Chapter of Institutes of Company Secretaries of India. This newsletter is available on: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0FMX9Z8gy8RczQ4S0JJTWlVSmc]
I apprecite the comments given by our professional friend on CRS who has expressed his practical experience which can be understood only by another professional. To supplement his views I can add that this new provision on CSR is superfluous when the Govt. is now unable to check corruptions being made by corporates through politicians and bureocrats by evading to pay taxes and cheating the stakholders including society. So, this new provision on CSR is nothing but a mockery.
Unless we, including our government,, stop confusing itself with Philanthropy as CSR; it will not work for betterment of society but increase corruption.
Doing business responsibly for benefit of all stake holders including nature is my version of CSR.
Thanks for your valuable comment.