CSR activities: No takers for arts, army welfare

GN Bureau | September 28, 2015


#Companies Act   #2013   #toilets   #Maruti Suzuki Ltd   #CSR  

Six of the 11 areas identified under the Companies Act, 2013, for corporate social responsibility (CSR) expenditure have attracted little interest in 2014-15, the first year since the new CSR rules came into force.

The six areas that failed to attract significant interest are slum development; technology incubators at academic institutions; promotion of rural as well as Paralympic and Olympic sports; the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund; preservation of national heritage, art and culture; and welfare of armed forces veterans and war widows.

For instance, at Rs.215.14 crore, the combined spending by the 85 companies in these six CSR activities is only about one-seventh the Rs.1,571.10 crore spent on education and skill development.

Parul Soni, global managing partner at CSR and sustainable management consultancy Thin-kThrough Consulting Pvt. Ltd, said the uneven distribution of funds has everything to do with “the ease of doing business, or in this case, implementing CSR”.

It is easier for companies to announce—and feel good about doing so—that they have built 1,000 toilets in a year than to demonstrate the impact of supporting an athlete whose training might start showing results in two to four years at competitions like the Asian Games and the Olympics.

Auto maker Maruti Suzuki Ltd, for example, spent Rs.50 lakh to complete the first phase of a wrestling stadium in Manesar, Gurgaon, in 2014-15, but has not shown it as expenditure under the promotion of rural sports.

Maruti Suzuki slotted the expenditure on the Manesar stadium under community development, on which it spent a total of Rs.14.6 crore in 2014-15.

Differences in reporting standards of the companies may be underplaying CSR expenditure in areas like sports, which may easily be clubbed under education or community development.

Another reason for companies being unimaginative in their CSR spending, according to Soni, is a “trust deficit in the not-for-profit sector”. Section 135 of the Companies Act allows companies to partner with non-profits to implement CSR initiatives. The idea is that non-profits can bring expertise in various fields of development and therefore increase the impact of CSR spending by companies.

The trouble, Soni said, is “there are 3.2 million non-profits, but you will be hard-pressed to name 20 prominent ones. There is no centralized registry for them”.

Comments

 

Other News

India set to enter 5G era

After years of intense preparation, India is about to take the next step in information and communication technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in India on October 1 and also inaugurate the 6th Edition of India Mobile Congress 2022 to be held till October 4, at Pragati Maidan, Ne

Ram Shravan Manan: A musical venture that leads to self-reflection

There is this popular saying that epics are never told, but always retold. Ramayana is one such epic and needs no introduction. Its plot is grounded in sacrifice and the end brings out hope that the good always wins. But how is a centuries-old tale of the prince of Ayodhya still relevant for today’s

Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana extended for three more months

In pursuance of the pro-people announcement made by the prime minister in 2021 and successful implementation of additional food security under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, the union cabinet has approved its extension for a further period of three months, from October to December 2022. At a ti

A great literary feast (that could’ve been even more sumptuous)

A Case of Indian Marvels: Dazzling Stories from the Country’s Finest Writers Edited by David Davidar Aleph, 390 pages, Rs 999 Change is the only constant, and India has always been doing so. Yet, after independence, if there was a year when the p

Govt e-Marketplace sellers report more business

“My volume of business has increased ever since I registered on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) in 2017. Earlier, I could supply items only in the vicinity of my shop in Fort area and only within Mumbai. Now, I ship my products all over the country! I have tied up with India Post and three private cou

How the Hindi Newspaper Business Changed

The Journey of Hindi Language Journalism in India: From Raj to Swaraj and Beyond By Mrinal Pande Orient BlackSwan, 188 pages, Rs 1,195.00 In India, the English-language media is considered the ‘national media’, while the language press

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter