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Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives , while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders. In other words, Corporate Social Responsibility is a self-regulating business model that helps a company to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders and the public.

Rule 2 of the Companies ( Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 defines CSR as follows:

‘Corporate Social Responsibility means and includes but is not limited to-

(i) Projects or programs relating to activities, areas or subjects specified in Schedule VII to the Act; or

(ii) Projects or programs relating to activities undertaken by the Board as per declared CSR Policy of the company subject to the condition that such policy will include activities, areas or subjects specified in Schedule VII of the Act.

Legal Provision:   The legal provisions relating to corporate social responsibility are contained in section 135 read with the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules,2014.

Section 135 applies to a company only if it satisfies one or more of the following criterion during immediately preceding financial year:

  1. The net worth of the company is Rs. 500 crore or more.
  2. The turnover of the company is Rs. 1,000 crore or more.
  3. The net profit if the company is Rs. 5 crore or more.

Every company to which section 135 is applicable, shall constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board. The CSR Committee shall consist of 3 or more directors out of which at least 1 director shall be an independent director. The CSR Committee shall formulate and recommend to the a Board, a CSR Policy which shall indicate the activities to be taken by the company. The Committee shall recommend the amount of expenditure to be incurred on the CSR activities to be undertaken by the company. The CSR Committee shall monitor the CSR Policy of the company from time to time. The Committee shall institute a transparent monitoring mechanism for implementation of the CSR Projects or programs or activities undertaken by the company.

The Board shall ensure that the company spends in every financial year, at least 2% of the average net profits of the company made during 3 immediately preceding financial years, in pursuance of its CSR Policy. The company shall give preference to the local area and areas around it where it operates for spending the amount earmarked for CSR activities.

Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. For a company to be socially responsible, it first needs to be accountable to itself and its shareholders. Companies that adopt CSR programs have often grown their business to the point they can give to the society.

CS Shweta Shah

Assistant Professor


Department of Commerce