CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY
As we all are aware that corporates are the integral part of the society that we live in. The four factor of production used by any business (namely land, labour, capital and entrepreneur) are provided by the society to these business houses therefore they are liable to return something to the society. Traditionally it was viewed that business must utilise the resources to provide goods and services of right quality to the society at reasonable prices. But as the thought of school progressed it started to come into the view that business organisations are more than just economical institutions. They are responsible not just for providing the society with right goods and services but also to fulfil other needs of the society. They are not only accountable to the shareholders but also to the other stakeholders like customer, government, employees and society at large. With this modern prospective the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was born. Corporate social responsibility focuses on the idea that a business has social obligations above and beyond making profit. It is company’s responsibility to produce an overall positive impact on the society. Being socially responsible can help the corporate in maintaining a good social image that helps them to survive in the industry in long run.
According to Peter F. Drucker “Social responsibility requires the managers to consider whether their actions are likely to promote the public good, to advance the basic beliefs of our society, to contribute to its strength, stability, and harmony.”
LEGAL ASPECT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Corporate social responsibility was a voluntary provision under the Companies Act 1956. But in the new Companies Act of 2013, CSR has been made mandatory for the companies fulfilling certain criteria. Under section 135 of the Indian Companies Act, Companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more (or the turnover of Rs 1000 crore or more/ net profit of Rs 5 crore or more) will have to constitute a CSR committee with three or more directors and allocate at least 2% of their three-year annual profit towards CSR activities.
- On January 22, 2021, the Government of India brought into effect the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2021.
- Owing to the COVID pandemic situation, the Rules have amended the definition of CSR to clarify that activities done in the normal course of business of the company shall not be included under the scope of CSR.
- Any company engaged in research and development activity of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices in their normal course of business may undertake research and development activity of new vaccine, drugs, and medical devices related to COVID-19 for financial years 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 as CSR.
- Any activity undertaken by the company outside India shall not be considered as CSR unless such an activity pertains to training Indian sports personnel representing the country at an international level or representing any state or union territory at a national level.
- Any donation to a political party under Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”) or any activities carried out for the fulfillment of any other statutory obligations under any law shall not be considered as CSR.
- Activities benefitting employees of the company as defined in clause (k) of section 2 of the Code on Wages, 2019or activities supported by companies on a sponsorship basis for deriving marketing benefits for its products or services shall not be considered as CSR.
EXAMPLES OF COMPANIES CSR IN INDIA
- TATA GROUP: The Tata Group conglomerate in India carries out various CSR projects most of which are community improvement and poverty alleviation programs. Through self-help groups, it has engaged in women’s empowerment. The group also engages in healthcare projects.
- ULTRATECH CEMENT: Ultratech is involved in social work across 407 villages in the country aiming to create sustainability and self-reliance.
- ITC GROUP: ITC Group has been focusing on creating sustainable livelihood and environmental protection programs. The company has been able to generate sustainable livelihood opportunities for six million people through its CSR activities