The Corporate Social Responsibility concept in India is governed by Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 and Rules made thereunder wherein the criteria has been provided for assessing the CSR eligibility of a company, Implementation and Reporting of their CSR Policies. India having the most elaborated CSR mechanism and implementation strategy has started its journey to set a benchmark in attaining sustainability goals and stakeholder activism in nation building.
The CSR ambit is getting bigger and for upcoming years it would turn as a unique knowledge base for analyzing and achieving sustainability goals as among various large economies India is a country which has assured by mandating CSR through its legislative action.
Applicability of Corporate Social Responsibility to Companies
Corporate Social Responsibility is required for all companies viz. private limited company, limited company. The following companies are necessary to constitute a CSR committee:
Companies with a net worth of Rs. 500 crores or greater, or
Companies with a turnover of Rs. 1000 crores or greater, or
Companies with a net profit of Rs. 5 crores or greater.
If any of the above financial strength criteria are met, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions and related rules will be applicable to the company. These companies are required to form a CSR committee consisting of its directors. This committee oversees the entire CSR activities of the Company.
All qualifying company required to have a CSR committee are required to spend at least 2% of its average net profit for the directly preceding 3 financial years on CSR activities
Activities permitted under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The following activities can be performed by a company to accomplish its CSR obligations:
Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty
Promotion of education
Promoting gender equality and empowering women
Reducing child mortality
Improving maternal health
Combating human immunodeficiency virus, acquired, immune deficiency syndrome, malaria and other diseases
Ensuring environmental sustainability,
Employment enhancing vocational skills, social business projects
Contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government or the State Governments for socio-economic development, and
Relief and funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women and such other matters as may be prescribed.