There should be permanent structure to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs), said speakers at a report launching ceremony titled “Promoting CSR through the SDGs for Better Business.”
The CSR Centre organized the launching ceremony of a report on CSR activities in Bangladesh at the Westin Dhaka.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguish fellow of Dhaka-based think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said: “Every country across the world is struggling to find out an appropriate mechanism or strategy to bring the business people with the SDGs much more gainfully. There is no solution in this regard.”
“The situation is getting complicated because of the fact that we do not have a permanent structure or a residual structure so that we can ensure systematic and regular interface between policy maker and the business people,” he added.
“You will see business leaders going to the prime minister with a cheque in hand on one occasion or the other. These are photo ops. This does not end up in substantive policy discourse. When a policy discourse does happen, it is sporadic and with specific interest groups,” he said.
Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Robi Axiata Limited Bangladesh, said some of the business organizations are spending participating in CSR activities just to avoid taxes. He marked such activities as “so called CSR.”
“I think we should have to consider the CSR as our basic responsibility, which is our responsibility to the country as well as the law; only when we can talk about CSR,” Mahtab said.
The CSR Centre’s Board of Trustees Chairman Farooq Sobhan said that CSR Centre throws its CSR report continuously to promote good practices of CSR initiatives in different sectors of Bangladesh.
Among others, Benoit Prefontaine, Canadian high commissioner to Bangladesh; Sohail RK Hussain, managing director and chief executive officer of City Bank Limited Bangladesh; and Shahamin S Zaman, chief executive officer of CSR Centre; spoke at the event.