An analysis of the data available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs reveals a big observation. It shows no uniformity in the CSR spending in Odisha.
Sample the see-saw trend. Odisha slipped to 10th slot in CSR expenditure in 2016-17 from 5th in 2015-16, only to inch up again to occupy the sixth slot in 2017-18. In contrast, state like Maharashtra, which topped the country in CSR spending, displayed a consistency, OdishaTV reported.
As per the data available, in 2014-15, the first year of CSR implementation under the CSR Act 2013, the CSR spending was a mere Rs 252 crore. While the numbers posted a jump to touch Rs 624.05 crore in 2015-16, it tapered down to Rs 316.71 crore in 2016-17. The CSR spending figures showed growth again in 2017-18 to touch Rs 469.34 crore.
It needs mentioning that under the CSR Act 2013, a company has to spend in every financial year at least 2 per cent of the average net profits made by the company during the three immediately preceding years. And CSR is applicable on all such companies that qualify the three criteria like net worth of Rs 500 crore or turnover of Rs 1000 crore or more or records a net of at least Rs 5 crore in the immediately preceding year.
An analysis of CSR expenditure in Odisha over the period of 2014-18 reveals that as many as 13 districts in Odisha have almost nil expenditure under the CSR. Even, the spread of CSR spending seems not uniform. Around ten districts have grabbed a whopping 93 per cent of the CSR fund in State. Among them also, the two districts of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur have cornered the lion’s share of CSR spending in the State.
Realising the lopsided CSR spending in Odisha, the State government a year ago has constituted a CSR council headed by the Chief Secretary to institutionalise the CSR expenditure and reduce the disparity in spending. But the result is yet to manifest on the ground. Highly placed sources informed that the CSR council hasn’t met for the last 6-8 months. And monitoring is not done regularly.