MoI to set up fund to manage CSR activities of domestic firms

Kathmandu, April 7

The Ministry of Industry (MoI) today announced it is setting up Children Welfare Fund to work for the betterment of children from marginalised communities in remote areas of the country.

The fund, which will come into effect from April 16, aims to make the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of domestic industries more effective and accessible to needy sections of the society.

At a press conference held today, Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi said that all industries and companies would have to contribute to this fund as required by the Industrial Enterprises Act, 2016. The act has a provision whereby all medium- and large-scale industries and small and cottage industries making annual business transaction of above Rs 150 million have to spend at least one per cent of their annual profit in CSR activities.

“The government will deposit the amount set aside by the domestic firms for CSR activities in this fund,” Joshi said, adding that collection of CSR-related funds in a common basket and disbursement from a single channel will increase the effectiveness of CSR activities.

MoI plans to use the Children Welfare Fund to increase access of poor children in education, health and skill development activities. As a pilot test, MoI plans to upgrade the socio-economic-educational status of children of Musar village in Siraha district.

As a part of implementing the CSR-related provision in the Industrial Enterprises Act, MoI today also announced it would contribute Rs 10 million to the Children Welfare Fund. For the same, MoI announced that out of the profit generated by Hetauda Cement Industry and Udaypur Cement Industry, Rs 1.5 per sack would be set aside for the fund from April 16. Both cement factories are owned by the government.

“These cement factories will have to contribute to the fund from their profit, ensuring that consumers do not face additional price burden in purchasing cement,” said MoI Secretary Shankar Prasad Koirala.

The government-owned Udaypur Cement Industry made a profit of Rs 110 million in the first half of fiscal 2016-17 after incurring losses for more than a decade, according to MoI officials. Similarly, Hetauda Cement Industry had earned profit to the tune of Rs 43 million in the last fiscal year and has a target to earn a profit of almost Rs 300 million this year.

Meanwhile, officials of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) have said that though the government’s initiative to spend all CSR related funds of private firms from a single channel is encouraging, MoI should also give tax rebate facility for the money that private firms keep aside to conduct various CSR activities.