Following the latest amendments in the Companies Act that statutorily mandates corporates to spend 2 per cent of net annual profit on 11 subjects earmarked in the statute, Gujarat has the potential to garner corporate social responsibility (CSR) contribution to the tune of around Rs 900 crore per year from around 15,000 eligible firms.
This was revealed Sunday by Maheshwar Sahu, chairman of the Gujarat CSR Authority (GCSRA) – a first of its kind initiative by the Gujarat government to help corporates carry out their mandatory responsibility – at a national seminar on the subject organised by United World School of Law. Jyotsana Yagnik, former principal judge of Ahmedabad city & sessions court who conducted trial in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, is the director of the law school. Sahu is a retired Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, who used to spearhead Vibrant Gujarat Investors’ Summit till 2013.
The second day of the seminar was attended by, among others, former judge of the Supreme Court Justice G S Singhvi, former judge of the Gujarat High Court Justice R R Tripathi and professor of Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) Anurag Agarwal.
Speaking on the occasion, Sahu said that the GCSRA, which was formed in April last year as a legal entity by the Gujarat government in the wake of the amendments in the Companies Act, 2013, had prepared a database of around 13,000 companies which were “eligible” for the CSR spending.
“The magnitude of CSR in Gujarat is so huge,” Sahu said while revealing the data collected by the GCSRA in the last three months. “We have prepared a data of 13,000 companies who are eligible for CSR…,” he added.
Sahu said that as per a rough estimate, the magnitude of these companies’ CSR spending would be around Rs 776 crore. And, if around 100-200 other companies that are not from Gujarat, but have units in the state are added to the list, then the expected CSR spending of corporates in Gujarat could reach around Rs 900 crore, he added.
Further speaking on the GCSRA, Sahu said that the organisation — set up by the state government to help corporates – has also prepared a robust web portal on which the companies could get themselves registered. And then, he added, the authority could help the company to spend its CSR funds independently or with state government’s assistance.
Sahu said, the government has formulated five thrust areas for CSR spending, which include diagnostic healthcare, innovation & entrepreneurship, nutrition for severely malnourished children, skill development for livelihood enhancement and building community toilets.
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