Stopping Tobacco Industry from Participating in CSR
TNPFTC is currently working on the Nationwide campaign named STOP Tobacco Industries from participating in Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities. For the campaign, the forum has initiated a signature campaign, conducted a demonstration, rally and has been sending regular reports to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for the exclusion of tobacco industries in drafting rules of New Companies Act, 2013. Through the representations sent, the then, Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare – KesavDesiraju, asked Naved Masood, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs to re-examine section 135 of New Companies Act, 2013. He suggested that the Tobacco Industries pay their 2% into a Fund operated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and identify appropriate recipients through a Committee which includes representatives from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
TNPFTC filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Chennai High Court related to STOP Tobacco Industries from CSR. On 11 Aug, 2014; Chennai High Court issued an order that since the matter is of Government Policy, the court directed to form inter-government communications to see how best CSR scheme of the tobacco trade can be met and what model has to be framed for the same. For this to be done, 4 months duration was given. As per press report, Inter-ministerial panel set up to look into the exclusion of tobacco industries from CSR. Officials from Health and Family Welfare, and Corporate Affairs Ministries, World Health Organisation, India and doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Science, among others, are part of the panel