The government is drafting a national guideline on corporate social responsibility as part of an effort to ensure the best use of such funds and activities.
Public and private organisations will have to follow certain instructions to carry out their CSR activities, as per the guideline being prepared by the finance and planning ministries.
The guideline will have social, economical and environmental dimensions, said MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning.
To formulate the CSR policy, the finance ministry has already taken recommendations from the ministries, organisations and research institutes concerned, he said.
Mannan's comments came at a conference styled 'Propagating CSR progra-mmes by corporate in Bangladesh', held yesterday at the headquarters of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the capital.
The event was organised by the chamber and the Bangladesh chapter of SR Asia, an international organisation promoting CSR and sustainable development.The government will soon form a national council to finalise the CSR policy in light of the recommendations, Mannan said.
Every sector should get emphasis to achieve sustainable development goals. “I think this CSR guideline will play an important role in meeting the challenges,” he added.
The policy guideline will have five chapters that will cover the principles and implementation of CSR funds, said Mohammad Monirul Islam, deputy chief of the planning commission.
“It will be a comprehensive guideline,” he added.
The activities based on the corporate social responsibility theme started in the country a long time ago but they are yet to be institutionalised, said Abul Kasem Khan, president of the DCCI.
CSR activities will play an important role in achieving the targets for poverty alleviation, workplace development and acceleration of economic growth, he added.
CSR policies have already been formulated in different countries of Asia and it has gained an institutional form, said Sumaya Rashid, country director of SR Asia Bangladesh.
“But in Bangladesh, such activities have not yet reached the institutional level.” SR Asia plans to form a platform on CSR in Bangladesh.
“The need for such a forum has arisen because we lack the platform that can help, guide and escalate CSR activities in the country.”
The forum will be a knowledge sharing hub for helping businesses and it will work closely with the government and design methods that will complement the sustainable development goals, she added.
“Bangladesh is an emerging market where the focus on CSR has been exponentially rising,” said ASM Amanullah, a professor of the sociology department of Dhaka University.
The rise has been valuable not only for improving human rights, governance, community and environmental development, but also for the industrialisation of the country, he added.