Andhra Pradesh (AP) stood among the states where the highest amount of CSR funds were spent during past few years. Excluding North East and Union Territories, Telangana is one of the states where the lowest amount of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds were spent in the last three years, according to the data of the past four years released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
AP, with a CSR expenditure of Rs 2,731 crore, stood third in the country after Maharashtra and Karnataka, whereas Telangana stood 11th in the country with Rs 918 crore despite several MNCs, corporate companies and IT and pharma firms having presence in Hyderabad.
A total of Rs 42,536 crore was spent towards CSR by companies in India. The states that spent the lowest towards CSR were Bihar, Punjab, Jharkhand, Kerala, Chhattisgarh.
As per section 135 of The Companies Act 2013, every company during each financial year has to spend at least 2% of its average net profit made during three immediately preceding financial years.
Further, it is the company board’s prerogative to take up CSR activities, whereas the government cannot issue directions to corporates to spend on any activity.
In Telangana, in 2017-18, around 634 companies had spent around Rs 291 crore mostly on education, rural development and healthcare. Infosys emerged as the biggest spender with Rs 20 crore, followed by Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) at Rs 19 crore and Divis laboratories at Rs 15 crore. Interestingly, the total amount spent on CSR in Hyderabad was Rs 21 crore.
Suresh Chitturi, former president of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), AP said, “During election year, the CSR expenditure usually falls. It all depends on political will. In AP, from 2014, there was the special interest taken by the government to pursue CSR with corporates, hence expenditure could be more. Also, there are several profit-making PSUs in AP which may have spent CSR funds. Telangana figures are surprising.”
Stating that it is difficult for companies to find the right NGOs to fund, he said, “Everyday, several NGOs approach us. We have to check the credibility and fund them. We don’t know how these funds are used. There is greater awareness these days on CSR among firms.”