An overview of India’s CSR Reporting Survey 2016

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By Nirbhay K

KPMG in India released a report titled, ‘India’s CSR reporting survey 2016’, an analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting of the top 100 listed companies as per market capital on the National Stock Exchange (N100). The report also gives an opportunity to compare year-on-year analysis of 2015 vis-à-vis 2016 and showcases the progress made.

The report is divided in to ten parts, including a foreword section and a conclusion providing a status on CSR compliance. The foreword quotes that, “The Overall CSR spending has increased and thematic areas of health, education and sanitation witnessed higher budget allocation from corporates. It is heartening to see that a few corporates have gone beyond the 2 per cent mandate and spent more.”

The second chapter is a summary of key findings and makes crisp observations on certain parameters. The chapter summarizes the status of mandatory disclosures on company website such as publication of CSR policy, annual report and annual CSR disclosure in the directors’ report in the prescribed format. The chapter provides interesting observations how few companies have gone beyond compliance. The section also dwells into CSR project management with details on number of companies allocating amounts largely in the areas of education, health and rural development projects.

There are bunch of interesting insights in the section of comparison of CSR spends by type and the nature of the industry. The section quotes, “The average prescribed 2 per cent amount per company has gone up by 12 per cent in case of Public Sector Units (PSU) companies and 15 per cent in case of non-PSU companies”, and, “The average spends against the prescribed 2 per cent amount per company has gone up by 18 per cent in case of Indian origin companies and 30 per cent in case of non-Indian origin companies.”

The third chapter gives an overview of methodology, qualitative and quantitative aspects covered and terminology used. Fourth chapter is all about governance of CSR. The chapter dovetails on the roles, responsibilities and composition of the board and the committee, CSR policy, number of CSR committee meetings and disclosure on CSR in the Directors’ report. Comparison of the amount to be spent against the prescribed 2 per cent CSR amount has been discussed in the chapter five.

Sixth chapter is all about CSR project management and goes into details of implementation modality of the CSR program, sector-wise focus of companies, state-wise focus of companies, and number of Companies that have failed to spend 2 per cent.

CSR related aspects such as governance, spends and project management of PSU and non-PSU companies are detailed in the chapter seven and the next chapter analyses companies of Indian origin and non-Indian origin. Ninth chapter compares CSR spends by type of companies and nature of industry and the report concludes with a status on number of companies meeting the CSR compliance.

It is encouraging to read and understand a well-researched report at the beginning of the year. It is even more important for CSR professionals in India with the due date of meeting the compliance looming large with the onset of March. The timing of the report, closer to the fiscal year, is very apt as most of the companies are striving to report CSR initiatives on a high note. The report helps CSR professionals, more so committee members, with an opportunity to evaluate in-house projects vis-à-vis with the larger CSR landscape and directs in funding projects of larger interest in the new fiscal year.

(Nirbhay K is a CSR professional and an IIT alumnus. Author can be reached @NirbhayK2)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the article are solely of the author in personal capacity and do not in any way represent views of any institution, entity or organization that the author may have been associated with.

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