With the passage of the Companies Act, 2013 the mandate for corporate social responsibility (CSR)
has been formally introduced to the dashboard of the Boards of Indian companies. The industry has
responded positively to the reform measure undertaken by the government with a wide interest
across the public and private sector, Indian and multinational companies.
The practice of CSR is not new to companies in India. However, what this Act does is bring more
companies into the fold. Also, it is likely that the total CSR spends will increase. What is clear to
many companies is that if this increased spending is to achieve results on the ground – which is the
intent of the Act – then it needs to be done strategically, systematically and thoughtfully.
The draft rules provide a number of clarifications and while these are awaiting public comment before notification, some the highlights are as follows:
CSR ACT – THUMBRULES
Name of the Act: Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014
Effective from: 01st April 2014
Applicable to: Every company, private limited or public limited
Amount to be spent on CSR activities: 2% of average net profit, if Criteria:
(1) Net worth is of Rs 500 crore; or
(2) Turnover is of Rs 1,000 crore; or
(3) Net profit is of Rs.5 Crore in last 3 years.
The introduction of CSR is certainly an important step towards ensuring social obligation for companies. It may be used as a useful tool by companies by undertaking certain programmes for the benefit of the society. Companies tend to be socially responsible towards the society through CSR initiatives. In other words, implementation of CSR policies is more of a moral pursuit of companies for social cause.