The world needs India as the businesses in the country have been leading in terms of investing in social causes, a senior UN official said on Thursday and stressed that business is the key driver that will deliver the sustainable development goals.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in India Shombi Sharp also said that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is indispensable in India's journey, where businesses are at the forefront in the efforts of the country to become a USD 5 trillion economy.
"The world needs business and the world needs India and as India leads, the world is following," he said at a conference on CSR in the national capital.
He noted that India has been leading the world in CSR, especially with its recent leadership during the COP28 summit.
Under the companies law, certain classes of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities in a particular financial year.
Besides, the government has been making various efforts to boost CSR activities.
"Almost half the countries in the world have to invest more in paying their debts than they can in education and health. These were among the issues that the world saw India take leadership on during the G20 Summit," Sharp said.
India held the presidency of G20 and hosted the G20 Summit last year in the national capital.
"Business is the driver that will deliver the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and India is at the centre of this whole. As India drives towards a USD 5 trillion economy with leading businesses at its forefront, CSR is indispensable in this journey. Indian businesses have been leading in investing in social causes," the UN official said.
At the conference, Farhad Forbes, Co-Chairman of Forbes Marshall, mentioned the issues of impact, measurement and transparency within the realm of CSR.
Many companies have addressed CSR. There is still geographical disparity in CSR deployment as expenditure keeps happening in states that are already doing reasonably well in terms of economic indicators and economically disadvantaged states see much less expenditure, he said.
Shridhar N E, Chief Sustainability Officer at Titan Company Ltd, said that most corporations are national players and there is a need to understand core competencies and co-relating these competencies with the CSR.
Anubhav Kumar, Head of Strategy and Policy at Boeing India and South Asia said the company would be inaugurating a pediatric facility in collaboration with AIIMS.
Vedanta's Group Director, Communication and Chief Executive Officer at Nand Ghar Ritu Jhingon said the company is to invest Rs 100 crore in animal care as part of CSR activities.
The CSR conference was organised by industry body CII.