Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said CSR spending by large corporates could go up to Rs 14,000 crore, supporting significantly the government’s social sector initiatives. When Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) clause was put in the Companies Bill, there was opposition from the corporates, the minister said. So, some provisions were diluted and a few dispensations were given for special reasons, he said while recalling his days as leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha when the Companies Bill was before the House.
“Now, over the last three to four years that we have seen it function…if you look at India’s large corporates with a profitability of Rs 500 crore and above, you have a potential of about Rs 14,000 crore of CSR activities,” he said at a CSR event of Axis Bank. This makes a significant amount if added to the government’s initiative towards social sector, he said, adding that this is the amount which is going to increase annually. He exhorted companies to take up challenging areas for spending their CSR fund. Citing some of the examples, Jaitley said corporates can take up jobs in difficult terrain.
Appreciating efforts of Axis Bank, he said, upgradation of 100 schools in Leh, Kargil region by the bank will help promote education in this area. “Education is one area you can see feedback coming in the medium term itself. You don’t have to wait for generations before the advantages come back,” he said.