New Delhi – The government may widen the mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending rule to state-owned enterprises such as State Bank of India (SBI) and those formed by special acts of parliament including Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), a media report said quoting officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
The government wants a similar treatment for all profit-making companies with respect to CSR obligations, irrespective of their ownership, the report said.
However, most state-run companies, including banks, have been spending money on CSR.
Companies above a certain size have to spend 2% of their average profit (for the past three years) on CSR activities.
A high-level committee headed by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas has submitted its recommendations to the government, suggesting extending CSR obligation to banks registered under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the report said.
The applicability of CSR provisions may also be extended to similarly placed entities not covered under Companies Act through necessary amendments in Companies Act and, if necessary, in their respective statutes, the report said.
SBI, however has been undertaking CSR initiatives under SBI Foundation, company’s annual report suggests. The total CSR spend of SBI Foundation for FY2019 was Rs 16.46 crore. The grants received from its subsidiaries amounted to Rs 16.66 crore, the annual report says.
Meanwhile, India’s second largest PSU bank – Bank of Baraoda has its own CSR policy, according to its 2018-19 annual report.
Punjab National Bank Ltd spent Rs 29.54 cr during the period from FY19. Oriental Bank of Commerce follows Reserve Bank of India Guidelines. The total amount of CSR sanctioned in FY 2018-19 is Rs 5 lakhs.
LIC social initiatives are done through LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation which was established in 2006, and registered with Charity Commissioner under Bombay Public Trust Act 1950. It has spent over Rs 83.20 cr on 499 programmes including scholarships, health initiatives, rural education and infrastructural support in education and health according to its website.