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CSR Made Easy – Updated CSR laws

Some of the recent amendments in the Schedule VII of Companies Act 2013 have indicated that contributions to ‘Swachh Bharat Kosh’ and ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ would come under CSR framework.

‘Swach Bharat Kosh’ has been set up to attract funds, from various entities including corporates, for activities related to Swachh Bharat initiative. The ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ is aimed at pooling money for taking up works to clean the Ganga river.

Following are the permissible CSR Activities as per Schedule VII:

(i)      eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, promoting health care including preventive health care and sanitation [1]including contribution to the Swach Bharat Kosh set-up by the Central Government for the promotion of sanitation and making available safe drinking water;

(ii)     promoting education, including special education and employment enhancing vocation skills especially among children, women, elderly, and the differently abled and livelihood enhancement projects;

(iii)    promoting gender equality, empowering women, setting up homes and hostels for women and orphans; setting up old age homes, day care centres and such other facilities for senior citizens and measures for reducing inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups;

(iv)    ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conservation of natural resources and maintaining quality of soil, air and water [2]including contribution to the Clean Ganga Fund set-up by the Central Government for rejuvenation of river Ganga;

(v)     protection of national heritage, art and culture including restoration of buildings and sites of historical importance and works of art; setting up public libraries; promotion and development of traditional arts and handicrafts;

(vi)    measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents;

(vii)   training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports, paralympic sports and Olympic sports;

(viii)  contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women;

(ix)    contributions or funds provided to technology incubators located within academic institutions which are approved by the Central Government;

(x)     rural development projects.] [3]slum area development

It is important to understand the implication of General Circular No.21/2014 dated 18th June 2014, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. As per the circular the statutory provision and provisions of CSR Rules, 2014, is to ensure that while activities undertaken in pursuance of the CSR policy must be relatable to Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013, the entries in the said Schedule VII must be interpreted liberally so as to capture the essence of the subjects enumerated in the said Schedule. The items enlisted in the amended Schedule VII of the Act, are broad-based and are intended to cover a wide range of activities.
[1] Inserted vide Notification dated 24.10.2014
[2] Inserted vide Notification dated 24.10.2014
[3] Inserted vide Notification G.S.R (E) 568 dated 06.08.2014

This excerpt has been extracted from a detailed report made by Samhita, Southern Accountability Governance Alliance Pvt. Ltd & CAClubIndia.com

Access the full report here