Maharashtra to tap corporates' CSR spend to transform 1,000 villages

27 August 2016

The Maharashtra government has teamed up with corporates and civil society in a plan to transform 1,000 villages over the next few years, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday.

While the corporate sector is already working with the government in various sectors through the CSR, the chief minister said, ''we thought of using their resources, knowledge, technology and planning and implementation skills''.

He said the state government will utilise corporate sectors' expertise to set up an institutional mechanism to amalgamate work done by different companies in different areas to transform 1,000 villages.

The chief minister was speaking to reporters after his meeting with industrialists Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

Fadnavis said corporates at present have no coordination in CSR spending and the plan is to consolidate the scattered efforts being made by the corporate sector so that it will help in wholesale transformation of villages within a specific time frame.

He said 50 per cent of the villages will be chosen by partnering agencies where some work is currently under way and the remaining would be chosen on the basis of the low score on the human development index.

''Rajashree Birla (Aditya Birla Group) has already shown her intent of taking 300 villages (out of 1,000) to develop them. Similarly, we have got tremendous response from others as well,'' he said, adding the government is looking at working on at least 100 villages by 2 October.

However, Fadnavis said, no programme will be forced upon villages and the decision on the kind of work required by the villages will be left to the respective gram sabhas, with the government providing assistance.

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