Corporate Social Responsibility Current Affairs
The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has constituted High Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility – 2018 (HLC-2018) under Chairmanship of Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, MCA. It will review existing framework and guide and formulate roadmap for coherent policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Committee’s Terms of Reference
It will review existing CSR framework as per Act, Rules and Circulars issued from time to time and recommend guidelines for better enforcement of CSR provisions. It will analyze outcomes of CSR activities, programmes and projects and suggest measures for effective monitoring and evaluation of CSR by companies. It will also give suggestions on innovative solutions, use of technology, platform to connect stakeholders, and social audit. It will submit its report to Government within three months from date of holding its first meeting.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
CSR is referred as initiative undertaken by CST to assess and take responsibility for company’s effects on environment and impact on social welfare and to promote positive social and environmental change. Its basic philosophy is that income is earned only from the society and therefore it should be given back. Thus, CSR aims at promoting responsible and sustainable business through inclusive growth.
The provisions of section 135 of Companies Act, 2013 (Act) pertains to CSR. The existing provisions of in Companies Act, 2013 fully empower Board of Company to decide on their CSR Policy, approve projects and oversee implementation. Under this Act, any company with net worth of Rs 500 crore or more or turnover of Rs 1000 crore or more o net profit of Rs 5 crore or more has to spend at least 2% of last 3 years average net profits on CSR activities as specified in Schedule VII of Act.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has constituted 12-member committee to review enforcement of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions under Companies Act, 2013. It will be headed by Regional Director (Western Region) Manmohan Juneja. Besides, there will be two sub-committees viz. legal and technical that will go into various aspects in relation to compliance with CSR provisions.
Committee’s Terms of References
The committee will review functioning of CSR enforcement and recommend uniform approach for its enforcement. It will revisit guidelines for enforcement of CSR provisions and basis, including structure of Centralised Scrutiny and Prosecution Mechanism (CSPM).
It will also look at methodologies for monitoring of compliance by companies with CSR norms for having an effective CSPM. It will also revisit Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013 pertaining to the board list of CSR activities that can be taken up under the Act on basis of references received from various stakeholders.
Under Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable companies (entities) are required to shell out at least 2% of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. In case of non-compliance, these companies have to furnish reasons to Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). In recent times, MCA has come across rising instances of non-compliance with CSR requirement. Last year, MCA had sought explanation from many companies for not complying with CSR norms. As per official data, 6,286 companies spent Rs. 4,719 crore towards various CSR activities in 2016-17, with total number of such projects taken up stood at 11,597.