Industry should spend funds on CSR activities to help build a better India: Thakur
Outlook , Jul 27, 2020
The industry should not shy away from spending its CSR fund as it would help make India a better place for present and future generations, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur said on Monday.
He also said that the government has made several changes in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) law to de-criminalise certain provisions.
Without taking name, Thakur said that a multi-national company which had not spent close to Rs 500 crore in the last two years as part of its CSR activities was issued notice earlier after which it was "happy" to spend that money at that time.
But now when the government has de-criminalised certain provisions, it is "running away again from spending that money".
"On one hand, we help the corporate so that they do not need to go through this pain of criminal sections, but on the other hand.. if the companies are making millions, not only millions but billions out of India...why they do not want to spend that money on the Indians," he said in a FICCI webinar on CSR.
"So that is why at times the government is forced to bring in such kind of sections into the CSR. So my request to all of you is that it is our responsibility towards our nation, towards our public, and I am sure all of you, who have contributed immensely, will contribute more and bring more people out of poverty and make India a better place for present and future generations," he added.
The minister also requested the industry to create more awareness to contain pollution of rivers and also help the government in its fight against coronavirus.
On rising pollutant levels in rivers like Yamuna and Ganga post lockdowns, the minister said that lesser pollution in rivers in the last two months showed that it is the industry which was the main source of pollution.
He said it is a sign from the nature so the focus should not be only on making profits but also on contributing in a different manner.
"Start affluent treatment plants, do not throw waste into the rivers or fields. This is putting more burden on hospitals....it is not good for India," Thakur added.
Anurag Thakur says concept of social responsibility not new to India; urges firms to take up CSR work