Just contributing money is not what govt expects through CSR, says Srinivas

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Just contributing money is not what the government expects through the CSR framework and companies should ensure proactive rather than passive participation in social welfare spending activities, according to a senior official.

Speaking at the first National CSR Awards function here on Tuesday, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas also made it clear that the government does not treat CSR as a resource to fill up any budgetary gap.

"It (government) treats CSR (corporate social responsibility) as a tool or instrument to find technology-driven innovative solutions to social problems. That is something very important," he said.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain classes of profitable entities are required to spend at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities in a financial year.

Since the provision came into force from April 1, 2014, the cumulative contribution has been more than Rs 50,000 crore.

"What we urge upon you (companies) is proactive participation and not passive participation. Just contributing money or giving some money (as CSR) is not what we expect.

"We expect you to look at problems, solve problems which can then be scaled up to the national level. That is something of the broader vision of CSR and you think that in the years to come, things like social impact companies, social impact bonds all these will also gain currency heavily," Srinivas said.

The awards have been instituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is implementing the Companies Act.

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