Govt asks corporates for ideas to make CSR lucrative

Govt asks corporates for ideas to make CSR lucrative

New Delhi: The government said it has asked companies for suggestions to incentivise corporate India’s contribution to social and environmental programmes.

“We are planning to develop a model for incentivising companies for taking up CSR initiatives. We have invited suggestions from industry and other stakeholders on how this model could be developed," corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on the sidelines of a BIMTECH summit here.

Khurshid had earlier said that the proposal to give fiscal relief to companies’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts could be explored.

However, “these issues need to be debated threadbare for their possible incorporation in a new Bill," he has said.

He further said not only companies but shareholders too should take up CSR initiatives as citizens.

In December last year, the Corporate Affairs Ministry introduced voluntary CSR guidelines for companies.

Among other things, the guidelines provides for companies to allocate specific amount in their budgets for CSR activities and put up the information on CSR policy on their websites and in annual reports for the benefit of the stakeholders and the public at large.

“The guidelines on CSR is best kept voluntary," Khurshid said, adding, “If we mandate it, companies may have the tendency to divert wrongly-earned money into these initiatives".

The minister has also mooted the idea of making CSR initiates quantifiable so that it could be traded on an exchange.

“I think there must be a way of quantifying it (CSR) and there must ultimately be available a trader or an exchange to deal in CSR credits," Khurshid had earlier said.

The suggestion would mean that a company that does not want to carry out CSR activities would have to purchase CSR credits from other companies that have earned them.