For the first time, the NDA government is planning to conduct a study for assessing the impact of corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by various public sector firms. The study, to be carried out by the Department of Public Enterprises, will cover 134 central public sector enterprises including BHEL, BPCL, Coal India, ONGC and NTPC, among others. It will identify the lack of initiative and implementation gaps by CPSEs in the projects and the reasons for such acts, besides tracking the status of unspent CSR funds in a year. Based on the study’s findings, a report will be prepared by the Department of Public Enterprises that will recommend measures to be taken by defaulting CPSEs for bridging the gaps.
“Under the present government, such a study is being carried out for the first time,” Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises Seema Bahuguna told PTI. The report will assess the CSR practices being followed by few leading private sector companies in India and some leading overseas companies and conclude whether they can be emulated by state-run firms in India. “We are carrying out the study to assess the on-ground impact of CSR activities being undertaken by CPSEs and whether the funds earmarked by them for the purpose are being utilised in the right direction or not,” a senior official said. Besides, the study will assess development of areas around CPSE projects, units, factories and other parts of the country, including the North East.
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It will also document the best CSR projects which are sustainable in the long run. Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in a particular fiscal. In case of non-spending, the company concerned has to clarify for the same to the ministry. The norms came into effect from April 1, 2014.