Companies manage their businesses through Corporate Social Responsibility to produce an overall positive impact through environmental and social actions.
It is a business strategy because to some extent a consumer wants to buy products from companies he trusts, a supplier may form business relations with companies he can rely on, an employee may work for a company he respects, other concerns may establish business relations with companies seeking feasible solutions and innovations in areas of common concern. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business strategy to reduce investment risks and maximize profits.
Applicability under the Companies Act,2013
As per section 135 of the Companies Act 2013, the CSR provision is applicable to companies which fulfill any of the following criteria during the immediately preceding financial year:-
- Companies with a net worth of Rs. 500 crore or more, or
- Companies with a turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore or more or
- Companies with a net profit of Rs. 5 crores or more
As per Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Rules, the CSR provision will also apply to every company including its holding or subsidiary, and a foreign company having its branch office or project office in India with:
- The net worth of Rs. 500 Crore or more, or
- Turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore or more or
- Net profit of Rs. 5 Crore or more.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities
Activities specified in Schedule VII as the activities which may be included by companies in their Corporate Social Responsibility Policies. These are activities related to:
- Eradicating hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
- Promoting health care including preventive health care and sanitation.
- Promoting education, including special education and employment enhancing vocational skills especially among children, women, elderly, and the differently-abled and livelihood enhancement projects.
- Promoting gender equality, empowering women, setting up homes and hostels for women and orphans, setting up old age homes, daycare centers, and such other facilities for senior citizens and measures to reduce inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups.
- Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conservation of natural resources, and maintaining the quality of soil, air, and water.
- Protection of national heritage, art, and culture including restoration of buildings and sites of historical importance and works of art; setting up public libraries; promotion and development of traditional arts and handicrafts.
- Measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows, and their dependents.
- Training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports, Paralympic sports, and Olympic sports.
- Contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up for socio-economic development and relief and welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes(ST), Other Backward Classes(OBC), minorities and women.
- Contributions or funds provided to technology incubators located within academic institutions which are approved by the Central Government.
- Rural development projects.
- Slum area development where ‘slum area’ shall mean any area declared as such by the Central Government or any State Government or any other competent authority under any law for the time being in force.