CSR in India
India is the first country in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to The Company Act, 2013 in April 2014. Businesses can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger. Company having:
- Minimum net worth of rupees 500 Crore.
- Turnover up to “1000 Crore”
- having a net profit of at least ‘5crore’
During any financial year, are covered by this provision.
The Company should constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee as follows:
- The Committee shall consist of minimum 3 including 1 Independent Director, however in case of Private Company or the Company, which is not required to appoint Independent Director on board, or Foreign Company committee can be formulated with 2 directors.
- The CSR Policy shall be formulated in accordance with Schedule VII and the CSR Committee will be responsible for framing the policy, finalizing the amount to be spent on CSR, monitoring & implementation of the Scheme.
- If Company ceases to fulfill the eligibility criteria for three consecutive years, then the company is not required to comply until the company will meet the eligibility criteria once again.
Current CSR Practices of the Firms in India
Brief on CSR Activities as prescribed under Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013
- Objective to efface the daily life segments including poverty, malnutrition and hunger while enhancing the standard of living and promoting the facets of better health care and sanitation.
- Introducing varied projects for Rural Development.
- Initiative to promote the different segments of education including special education and programs to enhance the vocation skills for all ages like children, women, elderly and conducting other livelihood enhancement projects.
- Aim to bring the uniformity in respect of different sections of the society to promote gender equality and other facilities for senior citizens and developing hostels for women and orphans and taking initiative for empowering women and lowering inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups.
- Elevate the segment of flora and fauna to bring the ecological balance and environmental sustainability in respect of animal welfare, conservation of natural resources and ago forestry while maintaining the quality of air, water and soil.
- Enhancement of Craftsmanship while protecting art and culture and measures to restore sites of historical importance and national heritage and promoting the works of art and setting up of public libraries.
- Steps to bring worthy to the part of war windows, armed force veterans and their departments.
- Sports programs and training sessions to enhance the level of rural sports, nationally recognized sports, Paralympic sports and Olympics sports.
- Favoring to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and contribution to other fund set up by the central government to promote socio-economic development and welfare of the schedule castes and Schedule Tribes and for supporting backward classes, minorities and women.
- To uplift the technology of incubator that’s comes under academic institutions and which are approved by the Central Government.
- 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 is engaged in women empowerment activities, income generation, rural community development, and other social welfare programs. In the field of education, the Tata Group provides scholarships and endowments for numerous institutions.
- Ultratech Cement: Ultratech Cement, India’s biggest cement company is involved in social work across 407 villages in the country aiming to create sustainability and self-reliance. Its CSR activities focus on healthcare and family welfare programs, education, infrastructure, environment, social welfare, and sustainable livelihood. The company has organized medical camps, immunization programs, sanitization programs, school enrollment, plantation drives, water conservation programs, industrial training, and organic farming programs.
- Mahindra & Mahindra: Indian automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) established the K. C. Mahindra Education Trust in 1954, followed by Mahindra Foundation in 1969 with the purpose of promoting education. The company primarily focuses on education programs to assist economically and socially disadvantaged communities. CSR programs invest in scholarships and grants, livelihood training, healthcare for remote areas, water conservation, and disaster relief programs. M&M runs programs such as Nanhi Kali focusing on girl education, Mahindra Pride Schools for industrial training, and Lifeline Express for healthcare services in remote areas.
Current CSR Practices of the Firms in Abroad
CSR in US
US companies have had the luxury of defining and interpreting their own view of responsible business within the context of their own company. Subsequently they have been able to measure and promote activities with greater freedom than their international counterparts.
CSR in Australia
“Social responsibility is the responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behavior that contributes to sustainable development, including the health and the welfare of society
- Considers the expectations of stakeholders
- Follows applicable law and consistent with international norms of behavior and is integrated throughout the organization and practiced in its relationships.”
Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR has been debated since the early twentieth century, but there has been little agreement over its definition due to:
- Differences in national and cultural approaches to business
- Differences in motivation for CSR – doing it because it is morally correct or doing it because it makes good business sense
- Differences in disciplinary backgrounds, perspectives and methods of scholars engaged with CSR
CSR in Canada
Canada’s enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy, “Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad” builds on experience and best practices gained since the 2009 launch of Canada’s first CSR strategy, “Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian Extractive Sector Abroad.”
- Re-focusing the role of the Office of the CSR Counsellor, including strengthening its mandate to promote strong CSR guidelines to the Canadian extractive sector and advising companies on incorporating such guidelines into their operating approach. The CSR Counsellor will also build on the work conducted at missions abroad by refocusing efforts on working to prevent, identify and resolve disputes in their early stages;
- In situations where parties to a dispute would benefit from formal mediation, the CSR Counselor will encourage them to refer their issue to Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP), the robust and proven dispute resolution mechanism, guided by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct, and active in 46 countries;
- Companies are expected to align with CSR guidelines and will be recognized by the CSR Counselor’s Office as eligible for enhanced Government of Canada economic diplomacy. As a penalty for companies that do not embody CSR best practices and refuse to participate in the CSR Counselor’s Office or NCP dispute resolution processes, Government of Canada support in foreign markets will be withdrawn;
CSR in United Arab Emirates
The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Dubai and the UAE has always been present from the earliest Islamic times, with people and organizations practising Islamic values, donating through philanthropy and Shariah compliant ways of commerce. In recent years, there have been worldwide initiatives to invest responsibly and focus on investing profits into community life and saving the environment.
NOTES CREDIT – Neha Luthra