SECP to promote CSR awareness in partnership with stakeholders


The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) organised a meeting with key stakeholders to take forth the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda at the SECP head office in Islamabad.
In his opening remarks, SECP Commissioner Tahir Mahmood stressed the need for a national agenda on corporate responsibility and social investment and said the regulator would encourage a national, multi-stakeholder effort to boost competitiveness through ethical conduct.
Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance CEO Fuad Hashmi volunteered to take the lead in partnership with Responsible Business Institute (RBI) for creating awareness regarding CSR in Pakistan. Other participants expressed agreed to the proposal. The participants were also of the view that the framework for CSR reporting and standards for assurance should be developed by ICAP. Besides Tahir Mahmood and Zafar Abdullah, Commissioners of SECP, eminent professionals present in the meeting included Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Dean & Director Dr Ishrat Hussain, Founder and Director of Responsible Business Initiative (RBI) Ambreen Waheed, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) President Ahmed Saeed, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund CEO Qazi Azmat Isa and Pakistan Business Council CEO Kamran Y Mirza.
The participants appreciated efforts of SECP to encourage companies to adopt responsible business practices. CSR Voluntary Guidelines, 2013 were also lauded as a step in the right direction. The participants stressed that the concept and understanding of CSR is still infant in Pakistan. While companies are endeavouring to incorporate meaningful social responsibility initiatives in their business practices, there is a need to create awareness about the benefits of CSR. Strategy for creating awareness will include seminars and campaign drives using media and other channels of communication. Further, it was suggested that owing to CSR being a voluntary activity in nature, consultative and corroborative approach shall be fruitful in promoting the agenda. Tahir Mahmood appreciated the dedication of the attending experts in ensuring that a key national priority was being addressed through a consultative and mutually enriching collaboration of all key stakeholders.