Infosys Limited, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting conglomerate, has spent Rs 360 crore on various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes during FY 2019-20, the company’s annual report revealed. Previous year CSR expenditure of CSR was Rs. 340 crore.
Pursuant to the provisions of section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 (Corporate Social Responsibility Rules, 2014), during the year the Company ought to have spent Rs. 360 crore on CSR activities in accordance with the provisions of Section 198 of the Act.
The CSR amount of Rs. 115.35 crore has been spent in Bengaluru particularly.
“The gross amount required to be spent by the Company during the year is Rs 360 crore and there was no amount unspent during the year.”, company’s annual report said.
As per the report, the average net profit of the Company for the last three financial years stood at Rs. 17,978 crore. Prescribed CSR expenditure (2% of the average net profit as computed for the financial year stood at Rs. 359.56 Crore.
The areas of CSR activities are the areas of protection of national heritage, restoration of historical sites, and promotion of art and culture; destitute care and rehabilitation; environmental sustainability and ecological balance; promoting education, and enhancing vocational skills; promoting healthcare including preventive healthcare, and rural development projects.
As per the report, the CSR committee has been formed by the Company as per the Act. The funds were primarily allocated to a corpus and utilized through the year on these activities which are specified in Schedule VII of the Act.
The CSR committee comprises two independent directors and the COO and Whole-time Director. The members of the CSR committee are – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson; U.B. Pravin Rao and Dr. Punita Kumar-Sinha.
The CSR culture
Infosys has been an early adopter of CSR initiatives. The Company works primarily through the Infosys Foundation, towards supporting projects in the areas of protection of national heritage, restoration of historical sites, and promotion of art and culture; destitute care and rehabilitation; environmental sustainability and ecological balance; promoting education, and enhancing vocational skills; promoting healthcare including preventive health care, and rural development. In fiscal 2020, the Company’s CSR efforts included COVID-19 relief in multiple states.
Over the years, Infosys has been focusing on sustainable business practices encompassing economic, environmental and social imperatives that not only cover business, but also the communities around it. The company focuses on social and environmental responsibilities to fulfill the needs and expectations of the communities around its business. “Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not limited to philanthropy, but encompasses holistic community development, institution-building and sustainability-related initiatives.”, the Company said.
The Company undertakes various initiatives by itself and through the Infosys Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1996 with a vision to boosting CSR initiatives. This was long before the Companies Act, 2013 mandated that a company should function through a registered trust or society for any CSR activities to be undertaken by it, the company said.
Key activities of FY 2019-20
Key highlights of the activities of the Foundation during the year are listed below, and the details of these projects are given in the corporate governance report that forms part of this Annual Report.
Supporting COVID-19 relief measures pan-India by contributing to the PM CARES Fund, helping hospitals, destitute, daily wage workers and underprivileged sections of the society. Construction of a dharmashala at AIIMS, Jhajjar and providing training to teachers in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Focus areas of the social development
The Foundation’s focus areas are – Protection of national heritage, restoration of historical sites, promotion of art and culture, destitute care and rehabilitation, environmental sustainability and ecological balance, promoting education, enhancing vocational skills, promoting healthcare including preventive healthcare, and rural development.
Company’s broad objectives, as stated in its CSR Policy, includes making a positive impact on society through economic development and reduction of our resource footprint and taking responsibility for the actions of the Company while also encouraging a positive impact through supporting causes concerning the environment, communities and our stakeholders.
The CSR Rule in India
As per Section 135 of the Indian Companies Act, 2013, a company, meeting the applicability threshold, needs to spend at least 2% of its average net profit computed as mandated by the Act for the immediately preceding three financial years on CSR activities. The Act prescribes that every company having a net worth of Rs. 500 crore or more, or turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore or more, or a net profit of Rs. 5 crore or more during any financial year shall ensure that it spends, in every financial year, at least 2% of the average net profits computed as mandated by the Act, in pursuance of its CSR Policy.
Rusen Kumar is the founder and managing editor of India CSR. He regularly writes on Sustainability and CSR.