Govt to keep tabs on CSR spends by firms

Govt to keep tabs on CSR spends by firms

 The State government will keep a track of spendings under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund from April 1, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday.

Replying to Congress MLA M P Ravindra’s question in the Assembly, he said it will become mandatory for profit-making companies to spend at least two per cent of their annual net profit on CSR from April 1. The Centre has already amended the Companies Act for the purpose. Now, it is only voluntary, he added.

Those companies with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more or net worth of Rs 500 crore or more or net profit of Rs five crore or more will have to comply. Though Registrar of Companies has been empowered to oversee implementation of CSR, the State government will obtain the information and monitor it, he added.

Under CSR, the discretion to choose specific activities and causes to be funded will rest with corporate boards. The companies will have the freedom to spend the amount on charity or religious donations or philanthropy.

Neither the Union Ministry for Corporate Affairs nor the State government can interfere in this regard, official sources said. The State government is yet to receive any direction in this regard, they added.

Earlier, Ravindra said local MLAs are not informed about CSR projects undertaken by companies in Bellary. The State government should set up a district-level committee, including local MLAs as members with powers to monitor and coordinate CSR projects.
Congress leader Priyank Kharge urged the government to set up a Cabinet sub-committee to prepare  draft rules for implementing CSR in the State.

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