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CSR funds are not going to grassroots level civil society organizations: VANI

By Our Representative
The high-profile NGO Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) has welcomed the Government of India move to appoint a High-Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility under the chairmanship of Injeti Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), to review the existing framework and guide and formulate the roadmap for a coherent policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The committee is entrusted with the task of analyzing outcomes of CSR activities/programmes/projects and suggesting innovative solutions, use of technology, platform to connect stakeholders, and social audit.
In a letter to Srinivas, and signed by K Shivakumar, VANI says, it has already presented 16 recommendations for advocating the effectiveness of CSR, adding, it conducted two programmes Tamil Nadu, where grassroots civil society organisations (CSO) complained that they are not able to get funds from CSR.
According to VANI, CSR funds are not flowing to the grassroots organizations even though the CSR rules envisage that they should go to the society and grassroots organizations, so that they reach the needy people.
The need is to revisit the existing rules and to form separate body either under NITI-Ayog or a separate institution may be formed to arrange and regulate the flow so that CSR amount, VANI says, adding, it hopes, the new CSR committee will consist of equal number of CSO, corporate and officials of the government, with a CSO member should be chairman.

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