By- Aprajita Tiwari !!
Over the years, the Corporate Social Responsibility, has picked up the pace rapidly, despite of being a new concept. The main idea behind CSR is that the objective of a company is not only to make profits, but also to fulfill a social obligation through ethical behavior and contribution to sustainable economic development of the country.
This concept of CSR has prevailed in the society long before it found an official place in the corporate domain. Major companies like Tata and Birla have been following this concept for contributing their part to the society from decades ago. The concept of CSR, in the beginning, was considered as a mere act of philanthropy due to which the companies limited themselves to one time financial grant only. But over the last year, there has been transition in this notion of CSR being a philanthropic idea. CSR has carved its way out from just being an altruistic approach to a social obligation on the companies.
Section-135 of the Companies Act 2013 lays down the specific provision for CSR. As per this provision, the companies having a turnover of Rs 1000 crore or more, or a net worth of Rs 500crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more, have to set aside 2% of their annual profit for carrying out activities like promotion of education, eradicating extreme poverty, environmental sustainability, combating diseases like HIV/AIDS, promoting gender equality and other activities of social importance.
Not only the society, but also the companies are benefitted from the CSR initiatives. A company`s social image and relationship with customers is improved through CSR. When the companies show their involvement in social causes, it becomes an attraction for the investors in the market. Estimates show that approximately 2500 companies will be covered under the ambit of CSR and the budget is likely to touch INR 15,000-20,000 crore mark.
In this dynamic society, CSR helps the companies to fulfill their obligations towards the society as a citizen and local neighbors. Companies in India are having quite sensible take on CSR initiatives and have linked them to their business processes. The business of the companies has been very smoothly interwoven with social inclusion and environmental stability. CSR is an effective mechanism that assist the corporate sector towards socio-economic development objectives at large. But there needs to be co-ordination among the NGOs through which the company carries out the objectives of CSR, the companies and the Government as to provide maximum output of CSR to the ultimate beneficiaries.
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