When the government set the CSR expends for the companies, it wasn’t, however solely looking for them to provide just monitory assistance. As per the statement by the officials, proactive rather than passive participation is expected to be a CSR framework mandate for companies. “Companies should ensure proactive rather than passive participation in social welfare”, stated a senior official.
Speaking at the first National CSR Awards function, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas officially stated that the government does not consider CSR as a mere resource to fill up the budgetary gap.
“It (government) treats CSR (corporate social responsibility) as a tool or instrument to find technology-driven innovative solutions to social problems. That is something fundamental,” he said.
As per the Companies Act 2013, the companies are required to direct their 2-3% spends to CSR of their three year annual average net profits. Seeing the success of the initiative, more than 50,000 crores has already been directed towards both purposive and diverse CSR activities since 2014, when the provision came into force.
“What we urge upon you (companies) is proactive participation, and not passive participation. Just contributing money or giving some money (as CSR) is not what we expect,” Srinivasan said while addressing the public.
Talking about the expectations the companies should be aiming for, he added that “We expect you to look at problems, solve problems which can then be scaled up to the national level. That is something of a broader vision of CSR in the years to come, things like social impact companies, social impact bonds all these will also gain currency heavily.”
There have been initiatives in the past, which have proven that companies are willing to go ahead of their way and bring a real contribution. Lauded for their exceptional contributions in the field of corporate social responsibility Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) companies like PepsiCo and ADI (Alternate Development Initiative) for rainwater harvesting, and collaboration by many companies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swatch Bharat initiative.
Such measures showcase how strategic partnerships will make a real contribution to building the nation. As for the CSR activities, companies have been focusing on it more now than ever, looking at its significance in creating a positive market image, and also accessing better ratings.