CSR funds mystery: Questions galore over OIL's claims of expenditure on rural development, handicrafts training, education and health
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 2: The Oil India Limited spends over Rs 100 crore annually for its CSR activities. But the PSU seems to be lost and directionless when it comes to deploying its CSR funds.
A library set up by OIL as part of its CSR for employee engagement speaks volumes of the company's directionless spending.
The library, located in the residential area of the OIL's campus at Duliajan, is in dire straits.
Iugurated on October 22, 2003, the library, which was being looked after by a trust, is on the verge of closure due to the company's negligence to its welfare and upkeep. Tall claims were made during its iuguration that the library will house a prized collection of a range of books, including those from various communities of the State and the region. Five staff, including one librarian and four security personnel, were deployed at the library.
Today, the complex bears a desolate look. Most of the racks in the library are empty. No effort has been initiated to procure new books. This has resulted in a drastic decline of visitors.
The trust has released the four security personnel due to "shortage of funds" to pay their salaries. This has led to incidents of thefts in the library. The librarian and the attendant are also engaged at nomil salaries which too are not regular.
"Nowadays, hardly anyone visits the library as readers get nothing new to read. No one seems to be bothered about the upkeep of the library. Many are apprehensive that it might close down as the trust is uble to look after it," said an OIL employee who stopped visiting the library long back.
According to the OIL's PR department, the company spent Rs 120 crore in CSR activities, 80 per cent of which, amounting to around Rs 100 crores, were "spent in Assam."
However, employees and staff of the company wonder where those funds were spent. On paper, the company has a list of programmes - like Oil Rural Development Society, Handicraft Training & Production Centre, Swabalamban etc - where it deploys its funds.
But many are cynical about the schemes, mostly those related to health and education.
When this newspaper inquired from people in the vicinity of the OIL headquarters, it was learnt that the ambulance facilities provided by the company is not regular and adequate.
"The activities are inconsistent. The officials had come once and provided some materials…but we have not seen or heard from them thereafter," said a headmaster of a school located near Duliajan.