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Skilled use of CSR resources

Corporate houses are now bound to spend two per cent of their net profit on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and it’s high time that an effective system is formulated to utilise the fund in creating a skilled workforce.

State’s labour minister K.N. Tripathy made the observation while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of a daylong workshop on “Skill Development and labour welfare through corporate social responsibility” at a Ranchi hotel on Thursday.

Over 150 representatives from government agencies and corporate houses attended the event organised jointly by the labour department, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation.

Referring to Companies Act, 2013, Tiwary said it was now mandatory for businesses with annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or net value of Rs 500 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore to spend two per cent of average net profit (of past three years) on CSR activities.

“I propose concerted efforts from all stakeholders so that funds could be used for the skill development of local people, making them employable,” he added.

Acting chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty suggested the formation of a state-level CSR council with knowledgeable representatives from government, corporate houses and other stakeholders so that a roadmap could be prepared for proper utilisation of CSR funds in addressing the needs of people.

Executive chairman of PanIIT Alumni T. Kalyan Chakravarty used a presentation to show how they were contributing towards skill development in Jharkhand through the Gurukul project. “We ensure 100 per cent placement of our trainees. While most have found employment within the state, some have bagged jobs in Gulf countries,” he added.

State’s labour secretary Rahul Sharma said the government was doing its bit. “Besides opening industrial training institutes (ITIs) on PPP mode, the state is working on skill development of 1.2 lakh youths, most of who are school dropouts, by opening centres in rural areas,” he said.

CII’s regional director (east) Saugat Mukherjee and vice-president of Jharkhand chapter Tarun Daga said they were also working in the field of skill development.