New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) The corporate sector has spent Rs 10,000 crore every fiscal year since 2014-15 towards corporate social responsibility, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Tuesday, while asking companies to contribute more towards social welfare spending for orphans and disabled people.
In his address at the first National CSR Awards ceremony here, he said the Companies Act was amended in 2013-14, making it mandatory for companies with a specified level of profit to spend 2 per cent of it on social welfare.
Giving gave away the first CSR awards, instituted by the Corporate Affairs Ministry, he said that there are resources, the will and the framework to spend on social welfare activities.
Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said the companies over the last five years have contributed Rs 50,000 crore and above towards CSR, while Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in some of the years, the CSR spend has been Rs 13,000 crore.
Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said the companies have spent over Rs 50,000 crore cumulatively over the last five years on social welfare activities. He too said in some years, the CSR allotment has been Rs 13,000-Rs 14,000 crore.
Kovind said ways can be looked at spending more for orphans and divyang (disabled people).
Every orphan could get personal care by 2030, he said, adding that he was giving food for thought and action.
The President said broadly, CSR initiatives have been aligned with the national priorities such as public health, education, livelihoods, water conservation, sanitation, and natural resource management.
“I am especially glad to see among them education, environment, health, poverty eradication and nutrition, safe drinking water, and sanitation.”
They are also in tune with the global priorities, he added.
“I am referring here to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The 17 goals with 169 targets are to be achieved by 2030. Maximum funds have been given to projects for poverty alleviation, safe drinking water, education, health. Every fiscal year since 2014-15, the corporate sector has set aside a total of more than Rs 10,000 crore for social welfare,” Kovind said, adding that a diverse range of social sectors have benefited from this effort.
“I am confident that we will achieve all targets well in time. In fact, on the parameter of sanitation, India has achieved the target far ahead of the time. The advent of an effective CSR regime is indeed a timely development in this context,” he said.