CSR a good tool to help needy, alleviate poverty. Merciless inflation highlights need for improved CSR. Govt budget for social sector insufficient.

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(February 19, 2020)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that runaway inflation has underlined the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Majority of the population is feeling the pain of increased cost of living the corporate sector must increase its spending on the well being of less fortunate to save them from unbearable shocks, he said. Speaking at a function regarding CSR, he said that businessmen and business organisations must step up their efforts to shield the poor from merciless inflation.

The CSR includes health, education, environmental improvement, support activities, provision of clean drinking water, welfare of children etc. but provision of food has gained importance in a scenario where the role of government in the promotion of the social sector is witnessing a continued fall.

The former minister noted that businesses must cater to increasing hunger and also focus on supporting their staff and their families while initiate programmes to provide necessary training to youth so that they can earn a decent living.

He said that west has been leaping forward in CSR but their model has many weaknesses while Islam has provided a complete set of CSR 1500 years ago which include the system of zakat, charity, fitra, distribution of meat of sacrificial animals and taking care of neighbours. The Holy Quran has stressed the need for zakat over three hundred times which is a shining example for humanity, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that following the golden rules of Islam in personal as well as business life can result in just distribution of wealth which can improve society beyond imagination. Islam is not against business but it wants wealthy to discharge their obligations in a better way while the western concept of CSR is based on just improving image for the sake of profits. Pakistan ranks very well as far as the charity by the businessmen are concerned but direction need improvement so that society can enjoy fruits of CSR. Targeted interventions according to the teachings of Islam are needed in this regard which will benefit poor and make the businesses successful, he assured.

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