Government on Thursday made public CSR spending of more than 7,300 companies in 2014-15, totalling Rs 8,803 crore, but the amount spent by over 60 per cent of the entities was shown as zero. Among the 7,334 companies, Reliance Industries spent the highest amount of Rs 760.6 crore towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in 2014-15.
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As per the data, spending by more than 4,500 firms, including some Tata group entities and Vodafone India Pvt Ltd, was shown as zero during that period. Making public the CSR spending data, the corporate affairs ministry has also put out a disclaimer, saying it is making no representation regarding the completeness, accuracy or timelines of the information.
“MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs)/IICA (Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs) makes no representation regarding the completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of any information and data contained in this file or that such information and data will be error-free,” read the disclaimer.
“In the event that the information on Director’s Report of Companies differs from the information contained in this file, the information on such report shall control and take precedence.” IICA comes under the ministry.
In terms of CSR spending, Reliance Industries is followed by ONGC (Rs 495.2 crore) and Infosys (Rs 239.5 crore). Others in the top ten are ITC Ltd, TCS, NTPC, NMDC, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, and Oil India (Rs 133.3 crore), according to the data.
Giving a snapshot on CSR spending, the ministry said the reasons given for zero spending include financial restructuring, loss, non-finalisation of CSR areas, delay in board approval for projects, technical and procedural difficulties.
Under the Companies Act, 2013 implemented by the ministry, certain classes of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. In case of non-spending, then they have to provide reasons for the same.
Companies having a turnover of at least Rs 1,000 crore, minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore and those having net profit of Rs 5 crore or more in a financial year are required to comply with the CSR norms.