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Parliamentary panel expresses concern over unspent CSR funds

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, December 4 : A parliamentary committee on Friday expressed concern over central public sector undertakings’ (CPSUs) unspent money of Corporate Social Responsibility funds, noting this money, if utilized properly, can contribute in bringing a visible change in lives of the poor. “The committee has expressed serious concern over more than 50 percent of the allocation remaining unspent with many of the 13 CPSUs examined by the committee like ONGC, NHPC, etc particularly when they have been implementing CSR for long and have experience in the field,” the committee on Public Undertakings on CSR, headed by BJP’s Shanta Kumar, observerd in its eighth report presented in parliament on Friday. Expressing concern, Kumar said that India developed economically but the it is also a fact that economic disparity in society also increased with the same pace.

“There are 280 CPSUs among which 131 are profitable. As per the data furnished in the Public Enterprises Survey 2013-2014, two percent of average net profit in respect of these 131 CPSUs which exceeds the threshold limit for undertaking CSR comes to Rs.3,683.73 crore. “If these CPSUs perform their CSR honestly, a lot of social disparity can be eradicated,” Kumar said at a press conference, which was also attended by BJP stalwart and committee member L.K. Advani. The committee also recommended redefining the term “CSR”.

“CSR should be clearly defined in the Act itself after incorporating the broader principles of CSR i.e. serving the interest of the most margilized sections of the society in line with great words of the father of the tion Mahatma Gandhi, who believed that development is ‘Sarvodaya’ through ‘Antyodaya’ implying the welfare of all by serving the last man in the queue, the poorest of the poor,” the recommendation said. It also expressed its strong concern over the CSR spending on ineligible activities by some of the CPSUs, like SJVN Ltd. making allocations for support to Shimla Municipal Corporation for infrastructure works/beautification and social studies/publication of articles of jourls. Observing that the essence of CSR lies in greater public participation so as to achieve the goal of inclusive growth, the committee have recommended that local people, local MPs and MLAs, elected representatives of local bodies, panchayats, district administration and the state governments should be involved more effectively for CSR. (IANS)

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