Union minister P P Chaudhary today asked over 11 lakh companies to contribute 7 per cent of their CSR funds to Swachh Bharat Mission and urged them to direct their employees to undertake cleanliness drive. Besides, the minister of state for corporate affairs has written to the companies to “sponsor billboards for gram panchayats carrying the Swachhta message”. Chaudhary’s proposal comes amid the government’s ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign, which is on till October 2.
The minister has written the letter to the heads of various companies in operation and as a step towards making their contribution to Swachh Bharat Mission, according to an official release. “For #SwachhtaHiSeva movement, have written to Heads of over 11 lakh companies to contribute #CSR funds for the Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK),” Chaudhary said in a tweet.
Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable firms are required to spend at least 2 per cent of their 3-year average annual net income towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in a financial year. The provision came into effect from April 1, 2014. “Contribute around 7 per cent of CSR spending to Swachh Bharat Mission during ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign,” the release said quoting the letter.
The minister has also asked the companies to direct their employees to go outside their corporate premises and undertake cleanliness drive in identified localities as well as sponsor billboards for gram panchayats carrying the Swachhta message. A corporate affairs ministry official said 7 per cent of CSR spending annually will translate into around Rs 1,000 crore.
Since the inception of the CSR provision, companies have undertaken a wide range of outstanding initiatives to attain equitable growth and it is now time that the companies start contributing immensely to the mission as part of their CSR efforts, Chaudhary said. The government has already set up the Swachh Bharat Kosh to attract CSR funds from the corporate sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists, the release said.
According to the release, Chaudhary has written to the presidents of apex institutes of chartered accountants, company secretaries and cost accountants seeking their cooperation and participation in ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign. The campaign started today.