The government needs to ensure good governance to make corporate houses and factories adopt the practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR), an international seminar was told yesterday.
“It's the government's duty to ensure social responsibility and good governance in every sector, so that it can force the companies operating in the country to comply with CSR,” said Prof Dr Syed Saad Andaleeb, programme chair of Marketing Department, Black School of Business of Pennsylvania State University.
He was addressing the seminar on 'Corporate Social Responsibilities in Bangladesh: Current Issues and Future Trends' organised by International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in the capital.
Earlier in April, the government announced that it would formulate a set of policies on CSR to encourage businesses to contribute more to workers and social welfare.
In his keynote paper, Dr Andaleeb said the corporate houses and factories have to ensure CSR in different levels, such as in stakeholders', employees', customers' and environmental levels.
Stressing on ensuring CSR for the employees, he said an unhappy and aggrieved employee cannot satisfy the stakeholders or the customers.
He also said due to lack of implementation, the existing laws often fail to protect human rights in many factories, especially in RMG units in the country.
Prof Dr M Alimullah Miyan, vice chancellor of IUBAT, said proper practices of CSR in the country's readymade garment units can help ease frequent labour unrest.
He also said buyers from Europe and North America want to source goods only from socially compliant factories.
“A CSR strategy delivers a strong and positive message that the company is ethically and socially responsible and contributing to the country's overall economic development,” he added.
Dr Stefan Frowein, ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission in Bangladesh, and Fritz Meijndert, charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were also present at the seminar.