Won’t criminalise CSR default: Government

New Delhi: The government has absolutely no intention to criminalise any default in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending under the companies law, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said and asserted that CSR is no more an act of magnanimity. Amid concerns over penal provisions for non-compliance with CSR requirements in the amended Companies Act, 2013, Srinivas said businesses should not fear and that the government greatly appreciates contributions made by them so far. Under the Act, certain classes of profitable companies are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities in a particular financial year and the requirement came into force from April 1, 2014.

"As far as the penal provision is concerned, Section 134 of the Companies Act, 2013 already contains an identical penal provision, which was invoked against defaulting companies since inception. There is nothing new which has been added here in substance that is not already there. It is more of a drafting issue and not imposition of an additional penal provision. "Nothing has changed after the amendments vis-a-vis penal provision is concerned. It has been articulated in the section (Section 135) also," Srinivas said.

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