Millennium Post

Govt panel to suggest steps to assess CSR track record of firms

The government plans to constitute a high level committee to suggest measures for proper assessment of corporate social responsibility initiatives taken by companies.

Under the new companies law, 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.

"Government has taken a decision, in principle, to constitute a high level committee to suggest measures for proper assessment and progress of CSR initiatives by companies including government companies," Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The terms of reference and composition of the proposed committee are being finalised, he said in a written reply. He was responding to a query on whether the government is considering having a regulatory and monitoring authority to regulate and monitor CSR activities taken up by companies.

To a separate query, Jaitley said it would be "premature to comment on the adequacy and present policy" as this is the first year of implementation of CSR under the legislation.

CSR provisions under the Companies Act, 2013, came into effect from 1 April this year.

"The performance of companies in this regard can be assessed only after the statutory annual returns on CSR are filed by the companies, which are due after September 2015," the Minister said.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry has issued necessary clarifications from time to time to facilitate implementation of  corporate social responsibility by companies, he added.

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