India CSR News Network
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has given a clarification about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the tobacco industry.
The circular dated 16 May 2016 says that the New Companies Act 2013 must not contravene any other prevailing laws of the land including Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.
This means that CSR activities by tobacco industry is invalid since Section 5 of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) prohibits “sponsorship of any trade mark or brand name of cigarettes or any other tobacco products”.
According to a release, the members of TNPFTC has welcomed the move of MCA which protects the public from the marketing strategies of Tobacco Industries. With the clarification issued, the CSR activities of Tobacco Industry become invalid and prohibited.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 states that corporate social responsibility schemes by tobacco industry are really just marketing by another name. When the New Companies Act, 2013 came into force, it contradicted WHO FCTC Article 5.3 and Section 5 of COTPA and moreover legalized CSR activities of Tobacco Industries.
Tamil Nadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC) had filed PIL in Chennai High Court asking the MCA to Exclude Tobacco Industry from Participating in CSR activities.