CSR Lanka to lobby for private-public sector engagement

Friday, 24 April 2015 01:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

CSR Sri Lanka Chairman Chandula Abeywickrema says that he will lobby at the highest level, be it in Parliament or directly with the President, in order to change some of the archaic regulations that stifle public sector engagement with the private sector. CSR Sri Lanka yesterday held the second session of their three-day program to engage both the public and private sectors through an entirely new revolutionary vision in looking at CSR. The session, which was for the public sector, had over 60 participating officials. During question time a very senior public sector stakeholder informed the gathering that whatever efforts being made for public-private engagement were futile as there were Government regulations that forbade action. In response the Chairman of CSR Lanka said: “This is the first time we heard that there are two regulatory laws that do not permit public sector officials to directly or indirectly engage with the private sector. If this was the case, they are laws that belong in colonial times.” “This situation requires radical change and I am surprised that nobody has brought this up. I feel this is the responsibility of multiple stakeholders such as business and industry chambers and the private sector as well as CSR Sri Lanka.” Abeywickrema said that CSR Lanka now stands as a facilitator to bring about public-private sector partnership. “I am sure that we will be able to engage with multiple donors and agencies that would really want to bring us the technical support to devise more inclusive laws which can be presented to Parliament. The private sector may well be the engine of growth but this engine requires many other components such as the driver, passengers and roads to travel on if it is to productively function and the state sector is an important part for this growth,” he said. Professor Wayne Visser, international CSR guru who has been listed as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders in trustworthy business behaviour, was the key resource person at the three-day program.