New Delhi: As many as 12,431 companies together shelled out more than Rs18,625 crore towards social welfare activities in the last two financial years, the government said on Friday.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, a certain class of profitable companies are required to spend at least 2% of their three-year annual average net profit towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) works in a fiscal. The norm came into effect on 1 April, 2014.

In 2015-16, a total of 5,097 companies incurred a CSR expenditure of Rs9,822.30 crore with private sector entities accounting for the major chunk. Of the total amount, 4,925 private firms incurred CSR expenses of Rs6,462.10 crore while 172 public sector companies shelled out Rs3,360.20 crore, minister of state for corporate affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal told the Lok Sabha.

According to the written reply, 7,334 companies spent a total of Rs8,803 crore towards CSR works in the 2014-15 financial year. While 7,108 private companies saw an expenditure of Rs6,306 crore, as many as 226 public sector undertakings spent Rs2,497 crore.

The figures are based on the number of companies for which data has been compiled by the ministry. Put together, a total expenditure of Rs18,625.30 crore was incurred by 12,431 companies in the last two financial years.

The CSR activities taken up by the companies relate to various sectors including education, health care, sanitation, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation and skill development.

In a separate written reply, the minister said there was no “positive outcome" of deliberations last month on the issue of multi-disciplinary partnership firms. With respect to having such firms, a joint meeting of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Institute of Cost Accountants of India was held on 24 January.

“In view of the autonomous nature of each of the institutes and their specific mandates, deliberations amongst them did not result in a positive outcome on the issue of multi-disciplinary partnership," he said.

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