Business leaders should incorporate social welfare activities into their corporate strategy to raise organisations’ productivity and ensure social development, said a policy expert.
“We urge the private sector to integrate corporate social responsibility (CRS) issues into business strategy,” said Anis Chowdhury, policy adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office. ”It will enhance productivity of the organisation through improving the surrounding environment.”
Chowdhury was addressing a seminar on ‘public-private partnership (PPP) and CSR for social development’ at Hotel Sonargaon yesterday.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) arranged the seminar in collaboration with the CSR Centre to discuss and develop a strategy for the economic and social empowerment of disadvantaged women.
Speaking as a special guest, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said PPP can be a helpful vehicle to ensure social development because it offers the best possible solution to the government’s aspirations to deliver some public services.
“Innovative ideas from both government bodies and private sector can place these two segments (PPP and CSR) on a strong platform to widen scope for social development to blossom,” said Rahman.
The central bank is motivating all other banks to expand lending to the under-served sectors both as business case and CSR obligation which is expected to lead to more broad-based inclusive growth and reduce poverty, said the central bank governor.
“CSR programmes of businesses can go a long way in reducing deprivations and widening the access of rural and urban poor to basic social and financial services necessary for healthy, enlightened and productive life,” he said.
IOM has initiated some PPP initiatives in the recent months for the economic empowerment of victims of trafficking and other vulnerable women.
“We have set up Kafe Mukti coffee shops in collaboration with Nestle, Transcom and BKMEA to employ human trafficking victims,” said IOM’s Regional Representative Rubab Fatema.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury attended the session as the chief guest with CSR Centre Chairman and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute President Farooq Sobhan in the chair.