Corporates should take CSR law positively: Nita Ambani

Written by PTI | Guptkashi | Updated: Sep 29 2013, 19:15pm hrs
Calling upon India Inc to take the new CSR law in a positive way, Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani has said it should help in creating sustainable and self-reliant communities.

Nita Ambani, whose husband Mukesh Ambani heads the country's leading corporate house Reliance Industries group, was here to oversee relief work being undertaken by Reliance Foundation in areas ravaged by the Uttarakhand floods in June.

"CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a process that creates sustainable and self reliant communities by lending a hand to realise their aspirational goals," Nita Ambani told PTI here.

A well-known educationist and philanthropist, Nita said that everyone needs to be taken along for society's sustainable growth and welfare.

Asked about the historic CSR clause of the new Companies Act 2013, which mandates companies with significant size to mandatorily spend two per cent of profits on social welfare schemes, she said: "I think it is an important step and should be taken in the positive spirit...

"... because unless the society moves along taking everybody together, you cannot have a sustainable society."

Reliance Foundation is carrying out extensive relief and rehabilitation works in natural calamity-hit areas of Uttarakhand. It plans to cover about 25,000 people (around 5,000 households) through its activities focused on providing livelihood in the state.

The Foundation, which is pursuing activities in various states, is mainly working in areas like education, health and rural transformation.

The CSR law has evoked mixed reactions among the corporate leaders, with some of them saying that the companies should not be forced to spend on social welfare and such activities should rather be undertaken on their own.

Recently, billionaire industrialist and software czar Azim Premji also said that philanthropy cannot be forced upon and has to be spontaneous, while referring to the CSR spending provision in the Companies Act 2013.

The two per cent CSR spending would be applicable to companies having turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or those with net worth of Rs 500 crore and above, or entities having net profit of Rs 5 crore and more.