Advised to deposit money they could not spend on CSR activities
GN Bureau | August 5, 2016
The government has turned to state-run companies to contribute to an account created to finance the prime minister's Swachh Bharat programme. The department of public enterprises (DPE) has sent out an advisory, asking central public sector undertakings (PSUs) to deposit the money that they could not spend on corporate social responsibility programmes in the last fiscal in the Swachh Bharat Kosh, according to a report by the Economic Times.
According to the new Companies Act, a company with a net worth of Rs 100 crore or more has to set aside a minimum 2 percent of the three-year average annual net profit for CSR activities. During the first year (2015-16) of the new CSR rules, PSUs spent about Rs 2,300 crore on CSR activities which was 71 percent of what they should have under the rules. During the last fiscal year, 460 companies including 51 PSUs spent a little over Rs 6,300 crore on CSR activities.
Corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha in May, had said companies contributed Rs 42.64 crore to the Swachh Bharat Kosh. They also spent Rs 15.49 crore towards the 'Clean Ganga Fund'. If the PSUs put in all the unspent money in the account, that would be close to Rs 1,000 crore.
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