The provisions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) under Section 135 of the ‘Companies Act 2013’ mandate companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or a net profit of Rs 5 crore or more, to spend at least two per cent of their average net profits earned during three immediately preceding financial years on CSR activities.
As per latest data compiled by the government, the total CSR spending has increased by about 11.6% in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15.
More Than Rs 9,800 Crore Spent on CSR in 2015-16
As per the data shared by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in response to a RTI application, 5,097 companies spent a total of Rs 9,822 crore on CSR in 2015-16. In contrast, 7,334 companies spent Rs 8,803 crore in 2014-15 on various CSR activities.
Compared to 226 PSUs for which CSR data is available with MCA for 2014-15, data of only 172 PSUs is available till date for 2015-16. In case of private companies, CSR data is available for only 4,925 companies in 2015-16 compared to 7,108 companies in 2014-15. For the year 2015-16, the data for other companies might be available in the future.
CSR Spending by PSUs up by 35%
The CSR spending by PSUs has substantially increased in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15. From Rs 2,497 crore in 2014-15, the spending has gone up to Rs 3,360 crore in 2015-16 – an increase of 35%. This follows adverse comments by the parliamentary standing committee on the CSR spending of PSUs. On the other hand, the spending by private companies has increased only marginally from Rs 6,306 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 6,462 crore in 2015-16.
Education, Health & WASH Still the Favourites
Among the various activities for which CSR funds are used, education, health & WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) remain the clear favourites with more than 60% of the funds in 2015-16 spent on these activities.
Education also includes livelihood generation activities. The health & WASH sectors have seen almost a 6% increase in the CSR spending in 2015-16. Spending on environment related activities has decreased in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15. The contribution to Swachh Bharat Kosh has seen an increase in 2015-16 while the contribution to both the PM relief fund & Clean Ganga have decreased in 2015-16.