The United States and India came together today to explore opportunities to collaborate on Corporate Social Responsibility to achieve a greater social impact. The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata, The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) held a symposium on “Corporate Social Responsibility – Bringing the Stakeholders Together.” The program featured a panel discussion among development organizations and corporations on how to collaborate for maximum social development impact, and displayed an exhibit by a select group of NGOs on development innovations.
Addressing the gathering of regional companies and businesspeople, the U. S. Consul General in Kolkata Helen LaFave said, “This Symposium on corporate social responsibility is one of a series of events that USAID is coordinating with U.S. Consulates and business groups across India. These events aim to recognize the importance of private sector actors in the development arena and raise awareness of a USAID initiative called the India Partnership Program which matches, dollar for dollar, coordinated corporate social responsibility efforts.”
Speaking at the occasion, BCC&I President Mr. Kallol Datta said, “Section 135 of the Indian Companies Act 2013 ushers in a new regulatory stance towards CSR in India with an estimated 7,000-8,000 companies now required to comply with this mandatory provision. If fully maximized, this new regulation can translate into a total annual CSR expenditure of approximately INR 19,000-22,000 Cr. This great resource can provide essential support in addressing regional and national social development challenges.”
USAID/India Deputy Mission Director Kathryn Stevens said, “USAID is seeking ground-breaking innovations to develop, test, and scale development solutions in India and globally. USAID is currently supporting various initiatives to encourage partnerships with the private sector, including platforms that can enable companies to achieve corporate social responsibility goals. Our partnership platform enables USAID to match funding for projects that are aligned with our development objectives.”