As many as 920 companies listed on NSE together shelled out Rs 8,345 crore towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity in 2015-16, a surge of 28 per cent from the preceding fiscal, with maximum funds going into education and health, says a report.
Besides, contribution towards the Prime Minister’s relief fund saw the maximum increase (418 per cent) to Rs 701 crore in the last financial year to Rs 168 crore in 2014-15, according to a report by Prime Database.
CSR law, which came into force in April 2014, mandates companies to invest two per cent of their net profit in CSR projects.
According to the Companies Act, firms with net worth of Rs 500 crore and above or revenue of Rs 1,000 crore and above or a net profit of Rs 5 crore and above have to spend two per cent of average net profit of the last three years.
The report said a total of 920 companies listed on NSE spent a total of Rs 8,345 crore towards CSR activities in 2015-16, higher than 895 companies that collectively spent Rs 6,526 crore in the preceding fiscal.
Education received the maximum amount (Rs 2,042 crore) followed by healthcare (Rs 1,638 crore), and a huge Rs 1,782 crore was made under ‘other matters’.
Areas such as child mortality, improving maternal health, promotion of gender equality and social business projects saw negligible spend. Importantly, there could be overlap between the different schedules. For example, building toilets for women can be classified under healthcare as also under gender inequality.
In terms of absolute CSR spend, Reliance Industries emerged as the top company, having spent over Rs 651 crore, followed by state-owned NTPC (Rs 492 crore), ONGC (about Rs 409 crore, Tata Consultancy Services (over Rs 294 crore) and ITC (Rs 247.50 crore).
PSU spending climbed 41 per cent from the previous year. On an overall basis, 48 PSUs spent Rs 2,078 crore in 2014-15. This went up to Rs 2,936 crore by 47 PSUs in 2015-16, Prime Database MD Pranav Haldea said.
The CSR Act also mandates companies to appoint a CSR committee comprising at least three members of the board, of which at least one should be independent. A total of 1,197 out of 1,520 companies had such a CSR committee in place. Besides, 331 companies had appointed more than three members.
State-wise, the combined Andhra Pradesh and Telangana received funds to the tune of Rs 630 crore towards CSR, followed by Maharashtra (Rs 529.50 crore), Gujarat (Rs 494 crore), Rajasthan (Rs 467 crore) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 414 crore).