High Level Committee Constituted on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
A High Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility – 2018 (HLC-2018) has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri. Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to review the existing framework and guide and formulate the roadmap for a coherent policy on Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR).
The Committee is expected to review the existing CSR framework as per Act, Rules and Circulars issued from time to time and recommend guidelines for better enforcement of CSR provisions. It will analyze outcomes of CSR activities/programmes/projects and suggest measures for effective monitoring and evaluation of CSR by companies. Suggestions are also expected on innovative solutions, use of technology, platform to connect stakeholders, and social audit.
The provisions of section 135 of Companies Act, 2013 (Act) pertaining to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) came into force on 01.04.2014 with a view to promoting responsible and sustainable business through inclusive growth.
The four years of implementation have enabled compilation of data on the number of companies complying with CSR provisions, funds allocated and spent across various sectors, geographical spread of CSR spending, etc. Experience has also been gained on the quantum, outreach and impact of CSR (which is estimated to be around Rs. 38, 000 crore up to FY 2016-17) and immense feedback has been received on how CSR provisions can be leveraged to have larger and more impactful outcomes.
The existing provisions of in Companies Act, 2013 with respect to CSR fully empower the Board of a Company to decide on their CSR Policy, approve projects and oversee implementation. Many suggestions with respect to CSR such as local preference, earmarking CSR spend for backward areas, contribution to national/state funds, notifying priority areas, monitoring compliance, supplementing / complimenting government programmes, etc. have been received from various stakeholders. The Ministry had earlier set up a High Level Committee on CSR in 2015 which made several recommendations, including review of CSR framework after three years which is almost over.
The composition of High Level Committee is as follows:
Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs
DG, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs
Chairman, SEBI or his representative (not below the rank of ED)
Mr. N. Chandrasekharan, Chairman Tata Sons
Mr. Amit Chandra, MD, Bain Capital Private Equity
Mr. P. S. Narasimha, Additional Solicitor General
Prof. Anil K Gupta, Founder Honey Bee Network & Prof. IIM-A
Mr. Prakash Padukone, Former World Badminton Champion, Arjuna Awardee & Padma Shri
Mr. S Santhanakrishnan, CA & Consultant
Mr. Mathew Cherian, CEO Helpage India
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs
The Committee shall submit its report within three months from the date of holding its first meeting. The recommendations of this Committee shall be submitted to the Government.