Leave little for the other causes corporates have been supporting
India Inc appears set to spend all or most of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) kitty for the year on combating the Covid-19 pandemic, be it through contribution to the PM CARES Fund, other relief funds, distribution of food, masks, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, or relief material to the needy.
CRISIL drew up a list of top 100 companies by revenue and CSR spend each in fiscal 2019, and checked whether they were alive to the need to alleviate the widespread distress caused by the pandemic.
Of the 200, ~70 appeared in both lists, while ~60 figured in only one. Of this total ~130, 113 spent on pandemic-related mitigation, according to data available in the public domain up to May 15, 2020.
In less than two months through March 15, 2020, 84 of these companies (including support through the corporate group) had spent ~Rs 7,537 crore on causes that can be classified as CSR spend.
The remaining 29 either contributed to other funds (Rs 373 crore), and/or facilitated voluntary employee donations (Rs 84 crore) that cannot be classified as CSR spend, or donated solely in kind (food and masks), for which assigning a monetary value was difficult.
Private sector companies, public sector undertakings and foreign companies have contributed proportionately to their share in the sample. Region-wise, 36 companies in Maharashtra – which accounts for a third of all Covid-19 cases in the country – stand out because they account for ~63% of the total spent.
Says Maya Vengurlekar, Chief Operating Officer, CRISIL Foundation, “Interestingly, the 130 companies analysed by CRISIL accounted for nearly 80% of the total CSR spend by all listed companies in fiscal 2019. Assuming other companies would have followed a similar path, India Inc has already allocated over 80% of the annual CSR budget to address the pandemic. This could impact spending on other areas this fiscal.”