The Government has made changes to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Rules and the recent amendments in the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014 have been notified on 22nd January 2021.
This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
Giving more details, the Minister said that all data related to CSR filed by companies in the MCA21 registry, including Aspirational District-wise, is available in public domain and can be accessed at www.csr.gov.in. As per filings made by the Companies in the MCA21 registry, the CSR spent by all companies in the Aspirational Districts for the financial years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 is given below:
|Aspirational Districts (INR Cr.)||FY 2017-18||FY 2018-19||FY 2019-20|
(Data upto 30.09.2020) (Source: National CSR Data Portal)
The Minister further stated that these amendments aim at strengthening the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ecosystem by improving and strengthening the disclosures, simplifying the compliances, bringing in more objectivity, transparency and entrusting more responsibility on the Board of the company. The MCA had carried out wider stakeholder consultations and invited for public comments on the draft rules. Large number of comments were received on the draft rules from various stakeholders, viz. Companies, NGOs, Academic Institutions, Industry Associations, Professional Institutes, professionals and public at large. The highlights of these amendments, inter-alia, includes, mandatory registration of implementing agencies with the Ministry, enhancing the role of board of the company in the utilisation of CSR funds, flexibility to board for spending as per project requirements, treatment of unspent as well as set-off of excess amount spent under CSR, impact assessment of CSR projects, creation and acquisition of capital assets through CSR and enhanced disclosure of CSR activities etc.
CSR is a Board driven process and the Board of the company is empowered to plan, decide, execute and monitor CSR activities of the company based on the recommendation of its CSR Committee. The Government has instituted National Corporate Social Responsibility Awards (NCSRA) as an official recognition at the highest level for outstanding contribution made by companies through their CSR activities. The categories of the award, inter-alia, includes CSR in Aspirational Districts/Difficult Terrains and for contribution in National priority areas including Environment, Sustainable Development and Solar Energy.