Companies Bill passed with mandate on CSR spending
The Bill, which will now travel to the Rajya Sabha, has said companies must “ensure” they spend at least 2 per cent of their net profit towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, a move that has drawn both criticism and appreciation from the stakeholders but one that promises to change the way CSR has been perceived so far. Corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot said CSR would be mandatory for companies like their tax liabilities. “Severity of law is not deterrent, it is surety which is deterrent,” he said, adding the companies may engage in promoting education, reducing child mortality and any other matter they feel can contribute for social welfare.
The Bill has gone through several versions since 2008 when it was first introduced. It includes learnings from the Satyam fiasco in its investor protection clauses. The government has also introduced the concept of class action suit wherein depositors or a unit of shareholders can collectively sue the company committing fraud. The Bill will also provide the serious fraud investigation office (SFIO) with powers to conduct searches and seizures on the premise of a fraudulent company. While steering the Bill, Pilot said when Companies
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