Monday, September 23, 2019
Cabinet approves changes in provisions of CSR norms under Companies Act
- Companies will have to deposit their unspent CSR amount to a fund set up by the government
Companies will have to deposit their unused funds meant for corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to a fund set up by the government for better utilization of resources for public welfare, according to amendments to the Companies Act approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.
The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019 cleared by the Cabinet will replace an ordinance issued earlier to help reduce the burden on special courts and to bring down applicable penalties for small companies. In addition, it seeks to bring about a few other changes to the law, which includes the provisions related to CSR. The proposed amendment requires businesses to transfer the CSR amount allocated in specific years to a dedicated fund set up by the government if the company could not utilize it for three years. This would bring accountability to the CSR activities of businesses, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Indian companies spend around ₹15,000 crore a year on CSR, according to information available with the government. The law mandates that firms with a net worth of at least ₹500 crore or revenue of ₹1,000 crore or net profit of ₹5 crore should spend at least 2% of their net profit on CSR. Any failure in this regard should be explained in the annual financial statement.
The Bill also proposes to give more administrative power to the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) for smooth functioning.
Another proposal in the Bill is to ensure that all private limited companies dematerialize their shares. The proposal may be implemented in stages. Dematerialization of shares will help prevent share manipulation and theft of shares.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
Arun Jaitley has invited corporate and philanthropic entities to invest funds into ‘health and wellness centres’, which shall be set up as part of the government’s flagship National Health Policy 2017
Last Published: Thu, Feb 01 2018. 04 49 PM IST
New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday invited corporate and philanthropic entities to invest funds into “health and wellness centres”, which shall be set up as part of the government’s flagship National Health Policy 2017.
Under the National Health Policy 2017, which is one of the two initiatives under the government’s Ayushman Bharat programme, 150,000 health and wellness centres will be established across the country. “I am committing Rs1,200 crore in this budget for this flagship programme. I also invite contribution of private sector through CSR (corporate social responsibility) and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres,” Jaitley said.
Also Read: Full text of Arun Jaitley’s budget speech
The finance minister emphasized that these centres are aimed at bringing the healthcare system at the doorsteps of people, and would provide comprehensive healthcare for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services, among others. “These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services,” he added.
Companies have traditionally focused significantly on healthcare. According to the National CSR portal, the government’s online platform for capturing and consolidating CSR data, an estimated 19,184 companies have spent over Rs4,330 crore in financial year 2015-16 on CST programmes on healthcare and sanitation. Provisional data on FY2016-17 suggests that 6,286 businesses have spent about Rs1,201 crore on this area of CSR intervention. According to the Mint-Goodera analysis of the CSR activities of top 100 National Stock Exchange (NSE)-listed companies by market capitalisation, companies spent about Rs1,715 crore on healthcare, hunger and poverty in FY17.
The Ayushman Bharat programme is aimed at making “path breaking interventions” to address health “holistically” in primary, secondary and tertiary care system, covering both prevention and health promotion, and termed it as “the foundation of India’s health system”, said the finance minister.
Monday, January 15, 2018