Corporate Social Responsibility in Nepal

Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. While there is no universal definition of corporate social responsibility, it generally refers to transparent business practices that are based on ethical values, Compliance with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities, and the environment.

Thus, beyond making profits, companies are responsible for the totality of their impact on people and the planet. In the business community, CSR is alternatively referred to as “corporate citizenship,” which essentially means that a company should be a “good neighbor” within its host community. Corporate Social Responsibility also called as socially responsible business is a relatively new concept in Nepal. The Nepalese businesses have recently started using the terminology CSR.

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In Nepal for decades, businesses have been practicing silent corporate philanthropy such as building, roads, temples, donation to schools or community development etc. In other words, social responsibility refers to the obligations of a firm, beyond the required by law of economics to Pursue long-term goals that are good the society. Education, training and welfare of under privileged, contributions to healthcare and environment, heritage and culture protection, contribution to association, clubs and other organization etc are the most commonly used CSR activities in Nepal.

Each business organization is the social institutions and they are living members of the society. Similarly business form used resources of the society and provide output to the society . It is the major obligation of the business firm to protect the social norms, rules and values . It is the duty of the organization to compensate against the Utilization of resources of society and the business organization compensate by lunching development activities .

Every business organization needs to fulfill sum degree of social responsibility and environmental needs. However there is controversy among managers regarding the level of social responsibility that they have to fulfill. Company spends its income but rather about how it generates corporate social responsibility in Nepal as consider as chance of peace and prosperity. In Nepal CSR can very much is about helping to stabilize the peace process. CSR is about working with those who may be outside of the mainstream and e. g. developing livelihood opportunity so that people do not have to migrate, developing programs that keeps children, especially females in school so that they can obtain at least a SLC certificate or providing health facilities to women to protect in reproductive health . Business is the driver but needs to partner in order to continue to develop new markets and be sustainable. CSR activities in Nepal * Realizing the importance of CSR for overall economic development of the nation Lotus Opptunities launched Socially Responsible Business Development Network (SRBDN) in 2004. CSR is already included in the three year interim plan of Nepal, it encourages private sector investment in sustainable and employment generating ventures by promoting competitive capacity and subsequently expects private sector to keep their operation transparent, adopt good governance, carry social responsibility and entertain participation of stakeholder and labor management. * NIBL is committed to building and maintaining a strong relationship between the Bank and the larger community.

It sponers a diverse range of programs that encourages a strong corporate culture of giving in the name of charity and responsibility to our community and nation. * The Chaudhary Group has the established Shree Lunkaran Das-Ganga Devi Chaudhary Charity Hospital in Eastern Nepal in 1994 and led to the establishment of the CG Medicare in Nawalparasi, where over 3000 patients are treated every year. * Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited launched two major initiatives in 2003 under its ‘Believing in Life’ campaign- ‘Living with HIV/AIDS’ and ‘Seeing believes’.

According to the definition of the European Commission of 2001, CSR is more and more developing into a tool for societal cooperation and the active shaping of globalization. This means for Nepal, that business people should become aware of their power to make peace robust and lasting. Job creation, equal employment opportunities, education and the beginning of dialogue and cooperation between the different sectors and opponents in society are valuable contributions of the private sector. At the same time, these activities will help to make Nepalese economy more successful.

Some activities in the field of CSR are currently carried out in Nepal but their visibility is low, they lack coherence, strategy and exchange. Since only few companies in Nepal are part of international supply chains, the pressure to exercise CSR is very low. Many of the present activities are started out of a conviction in the spirit of philanthropy; marketing in this field is regarded as immoral. Therefore the link to core business is often missing. As a starting point these initiatives are valuable, however they need to be connected and further developed. Carrying out CSR does not necessarily cost a lot of money.

The more the activities are connected to the company, its products and employees, the more effective it will be for a company. Even if Nepalese companies are often small and affected by the conflict, relevant CSR activities are possible. They are necessary if Nepal does not want to risk falling back into conflict. Areas of social responsibilities in Nepal: Stakeholders of CSR in Nepal The general set-up of stakeholders for CSR is usually identical. It consists of companies, their sector with its associations, NGOs, civic groups and the populations at large and the sphere of government, from local to supranational bodies.

The actual impact of these stakeholders differs according to the political and historical background of a country. In the case of Nepal, the actual set-up of stakeholders differs from that in other countries and is linked to the societal and political situation. Companies There are several clusters of companies. A share of business horses in Nepal that are knowledgeable about CSR, are interested in implementing it and have already started to take some measures that go beyond their charity work.

These will also be the companies that have basic employee rights in place such as written appointments for jobs, regular working hours and safety measurements. Especially those companies connected to Indian corporations or being part of supply chains reaching out to Europe will go beyond these basic instruments and have started to implement management models for CSR beginning with mission statements, process analysis in terms of product quality, workplace safety, environmental impacts and going as far as establishing company hospitals and schools or providing free bus shuttles or dormitories for workers working night shifts.

Due to Nepal’s difficult economic situation these companies are very few in number and the management as well as the skilled workplaces in these factories are mostly from India. Market The market as a stakeholder is made up of foreign and domestic consumers, the buyers and sellers connected in the supply chain and possible subcontractors or consultants. The potential for CSR related influence here is rather large but the actual impact is still weak.

Currently, Nepal’s only significant export connection and supply chain affiliation is through India. Some ideas have been introduced this way but it is a very small share of business that is part of this group of export companies. Government the State should be a significant driver of CSR or at least a supporter of CSR. The Nepalese Government at all levels is absent in this field. There are no visible policies in place to enhance CSR and it is very difficult if not impossible to meet representatives familiar with the concept.

Since CSR is genuinely a concept involving all three actors- government, business and society- aiming at solving societal problem that affect all three actors some connection to the government, especially the one to be elected in 2007 should be established. The aim should be no mean be a regulation but a better framework for CSR exercised by companies and civil society organizations. Conclusion: In this way corporate responsibility involves two major participants, business and society. It encompasses four major areas of responsibility: economic, legal, moral and social.

Combined, both parties are involved in these actions to protect and improve the welfare of both society and business as a whole. The business and stakeholders accomplish this within the economic structures and capabilities of both parties. As CRS is new in Nepal, but many business establishment are focusing on welfare of the society and people. Its practices are very low but slowly various banks and companies are showing attention and helping in several sectors like education, health, sports, and environment.