ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said that businesses in Pakistan should do philanthropy while being driven by one of the fundamental principles of Islam, making it binding upon the rich people to do charitable spending for the well-being of the have-nots in the society to extricate them from the exploitative cycle of poverty.
The president stated this while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the 11th International (Corporate Social Responsibility) CSR Summit and Awards-2019 organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH).
“Our religion makes it binding upon the rich people to do the CSR work as the concept of Islam could not be completed without ensuring social service and social justice for the destitute people,” said the president in his address at the ceremony.
“It is being reported that the wealth accumulated by 26 richest people in the world is more than the financial resources of 3.5 billion people as the capital of these affluent persons could be enough to end poverty, diseases, and hunger from around the globe. This could not go forward like this on a never-ending basis that so much enormous wealth remains accumulated in the hands of a very few people at the cost of a poverty-stricken population,” he said.
He said that Pakistanis had firm belief in doing extensive charitable work to support the people in distress in their native areas as this phenomenon could be gauged by the lone fact that Pakistan had wholeheartedly accepted 3.5 million refugees from Afghanistan facing a civil war-like situation in their homeland.
“Pakistanis never raised the demand to forcibly repatriate these Afghan refugees to their native country and till to date, a large number of these refugees continue to live in Pakistan. This is in sheer contrast to the practice of European countries, which despite being the torch-bearers of human rights in the world do extensive negotiations to accept a few hundreds of migrants escaping deaths and destruction in their native lands,” said Dr Alvi.
He said that there was a need to adopt legislation and regulations binding upon the corporate sector of Pakistan to reserve minimum one per cent of their annual profits for doing projects of health, education, and for other urgent social needs of the downtrodden masses. “The corporate entities, which don’t do such a mandatory charitable work for the poor people around them is, in fact, doing the biggest social disservice,” he said.
He said that a state should ideally adopt a taxation regime enabling it to tax the affluent sections of the society while generating sufficient financial resources to do spending for the well-being and social uplift of backward sections of the society.
He further said that it was the mandatory social obligation of rich people to spend their wealth for the benefit of the have-nots as in this manner Pakistan would soon be a prosperous country after overcoming the menace of poverty.
Also speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal said that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan should review its CSR-related guidelines for the Pakistani corporate sector to align them with the Sustainable Development Goals-2030 of the United Nations.
The federal minister said the government, corporate sector, and civil society in Pakistan should align their vision and efforts to do mandatory social work in the society especially to achieve the goal of promoting education among the backward and destitute sections of the population.