Firms spent Rs 28,000 cr towards CSR works in nearly 3 years

Corporates have spent more than Rs 28,000 crore towards social welfare activities in nearly three years of CSR norms coming into force, latest official data showed. The requirement for certain class of profitable entities to spend a certain amount on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works came into effect from April 1, 2014 as part of the new Companies Act.

An analysis of data compiled by the corporate affairs ministry showed that a total amount of Rs 28,111.63 crore has been spent on CSR activities by eligible companies during the period from April 1, 2014 to November 30, 2017. In the current fiscal till November 30, a total of Rs 4,719 crore was spent while the total money shelled out towards CSR works touched a high of Rs 13,827.86 crore in 2015-16.

During the first year of CSR norms implementation — 2014 -15 period — the total expenditure stood at Rs 9,564.77 crore. Out of the total amount, more than 70 per cent came from private sector companies. These entities’ share is Rs 19,948.86 crore during the period from April 1, 2014 to November 30, 2017.

Health/ eradicating hunger/ poverty and malnutrition/ safe drinking water/ sanitation; education/ differently abled/ livelihood; rural development; Swachh Bharat Kosh; Clean Ganga Fund and gender equality/ women empowerment/ old age homes/ reducing inequalities are among the areas where the CSR money has been spent.

As per the law, eligible profitable companies have to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year average annual net profit towards CSR activities and in case of non- expenditure, the same has to be explained to the ministry. Among other requirements, each eligible company has to set up a CSR committee of its board. The latter would formulate the CSR policy as well as monitor its implementation.

In case of failure to spend the required amount in a particular fiscal, the same has to be mentioned in the board’s report along with reasons. Last month, the ministry informed the Rajya Sabha that penal action was to be initiated against 196 companies for violating CSR norms in financial year 2014-15.

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