Sindh govt forms body for Corporate Social Responsibility legislation

July 11, 2020

KARACHI: Sindh government constituted a committee for formulation and legislation of Corporate Social Responsibility law for Sindh province.There is no law in Pakistan on the federal and provincial...

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KARACHI: Sindh government constituted a committee for formulation and legislation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) law for Sindh province.

There is no law in Pakistan on the federal and provincial levels regarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to make responsible the companies and industrial units to spend a certain amount on the development of the area where these companies are operating.

Beside this some of the companies, industrial units, oil and gas companies, and corporate organisations are spending certain amount or percentage of their profit on the development of the area in the head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but most of them avoiding to spend a single penny and no law compels them for this purpose.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2013 Supreme Court of Pakistan directed all ‘oil and gas companies’ to fulfill their responsibilities, spend a certain percentage of their profits on the betterment of the area in the head of CSR and to provide gas connections to all people residing in the radius of five kilometers of their area of exploration.

Supreme Court in its direction also asked the federal and provincial governments to consult with each other and also have directed the Director General Petroleum and Gas and Chief Secretaries of all four provinces to make suggestions with the consultation on the issue.

After the Supreme Court directions ‘district petroleum committees’ headed by local MNAs were constituted in the districts where petroleum and gas is explored.

Area Deputy Commissioners and elected representatives proposed development schemes from the funds contributed by the ‘oil and gas companies’, but there was no proper mechanism and legislation in this regard.

Sindh government took the serious step in this regard and formulated a committee headed by Naseer Memon, prominent writer and General Manager CSR, Public Affairs and Communications of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as a Chairman and Dr Shereen Mustafa, member legal Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), Imtiaz Ali Shah Director Alternative Energy, Sindh Energy Department, Barrister Zamar Ghumro, prominent lawyer, a representative of the private sector to be nominated by chairman and a representative of law department not below the rank of additional secretary as members of the committee.

According to the official notification issued by Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Shah, the committee has to review current legal provisions supporting the CSR; review law and practice in other South Asian countries regarding CSR; consult stakeholders concerned for seeking inputs by taking them on board in the formulation of proposed law; develop draft CSR law for Sindh province.

According to the official notification, the committee has to present the draft law to the Sindh government for necessary legislation.

Legal expert advocate Umair Bachani told The News that after this legislation, Sindh would be the leading and first province in the country to take steps regarding this important and vital issue.

Advocate Bachani added that this legislation would be a milestone for the development of the province and would provide more opportunities for the people of Sindh for their betterment.

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