FM exhorts India Inc to expand reach to poor

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the National Corporate Social Responsibility Awards function in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday exhorted India Inc to expand CSR reach to poor states like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Bihar and North East region.

Appreciating that companies have spent about Rs 13,000 crore last year under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), she said, this is very relevant for development of hinterland.

"We find a significant presence of CSR in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi... states like Chattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar also require such support from CSR. Not to forget all the eight states of North East region," the finance minister said on the occasion of First National CSR Awards here.

The recognition has been given to wealth creators not just for wealth creation but to give back to the community in the name of CSR, she said, adding that giving back to community from the justified profit is the spirit of the CSR, which has gained lot of traction.

Sitharaman was also appreciative of the fact that the companies are spending CSR money beyond the mandated flagship programmes of the government under the schedule 7 of the Companies Act.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities are required to spend at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

Speaking at the occasion Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said health and education have got lot of emphasis under the CSR.

Another emerging crisis, which the Prime Minister has also highlighted, is the shortage of water across the country.

There is a need to focus on this area as well, he said.

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