Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending by companies listed on NSE increased 18 per cent to Rs 11,961 crore in 2018-19, as per a report. During 2017-18, the firms listed on NSE had spent Rs 10,179 crore.
“CSR expenditure by companies listed at NSE has grown at a healthy compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent over the last 5 years,” a report by nseinfobase.com, a joint venture between NSE and PRIME Database, said.
Reliance Industries, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, HDFC Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Tata Steel, ITC, NTPC and Power Grid Corporation of India are the top 10 companies which spent the most on CSR during financial year 2018-19, the report said.
“The top 10 companies together spent 36 per cent of the total spend on CSR,” the report said.
Besides, there were 488 companies which exceeded their prescribed spending and 37 companies spent on CSR despite reporting a loss. “PSU spending saw an increase of 4 per cent from previous year. 57 PSUs spent Rs 3,198 crore in 2018-19, up from Rs 2,710 crore spent by 54 PSUs in 2017-18,” the report stated.
As on March 31, 2019, 1,786 companies were listed on NSE. However, the analysis is based on 1,132 companies listed on NSE as on March 31, 2019 and obligated to spend on CSR and for which CSR details were available in their annual reports.
Of the total funds spent on CSR, maximum spending was on education and vocation skills at over Rs 4,440 crore. Among other areas, hunger, poverty and healthcare witnessed a spending of Rs 3,242 crore, rural development Rs 1,322 crore and environmental sustainability nearly Rs 1,020 crore, the report found.
Areas such as armed force veterans, technology incubators, slum development and disaster management saw negligible spends. Giving a state-wise overview, the report said that top 10 states which received maximum CSR funds were Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana.
The top 10 states accounted for 47 per cent of the total CSR expenditure. According to Pranav Haldea, managing director of PRIME Database Group, “not all areas of the country are benefitting equally. Since the Act decrees that companies shall give preference to the local area, the more industrialised parts of the country are cornering a larger share.”
Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities are required to shell out at least 2 per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities.