NEW DELHI: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram today castigated corporate honchos for turning deaf to crying social issues and asked why none of them came forward to take over the country’s industrial training institutes, which are in urgent need of makeover.
He was particulary dismayed at the complete lack of response to interest or commitment on the part of corporates to provide jobs to physically challenged persons, despite a host of incentives being announced in the budget.
“When we are promising 100,000 jobs to physically challenged, it is a challenge not only for the government but also for you. I did not hear any one of you speak about how you will provide jobs to physically challenged persons”, he asked industry leaders in a post-budget meeting at the apex Indian industry chamber, Assocham.
Chidambaram had promised in his budget that the government will reimburse employers’ contribution to Employee Provident Fund and Employee State Insurance Corporation for the first three years, if they provide jobs to disabled persons.
The Finance Minister was equally concerned that none from India Inc came forward for upgrading ITIs despite budgetary promises of providing interest free loans for modernization of these institutions.
“When I offered 1,396 ITIs (for upgradation) and promised Rs2.5 crore (interest free loan) per ITI towards this end, I did not hear any one of you say that this is a challenge that the Indian industry would be happy to embrace as they come forward and takeover ITIs,” he said.
He asked the corporate world to appoint someone as the chief of social responsibility in the same way as they have CEOs, COOs and CFOs.