Don’t Camouflage Spending On CSR, Says Arun Jaitley

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March 22, 2017 The CSR Journal

Don’t Camouflage Spending On CSR, Says Arun Jaitley

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has called for strict discipline and an arm's-length between corporate proposals and spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) to ensure that companies are not supporting "their own proposals" from this sphere.

Delivering the keynote address at an award function at the HCL office in Noida's Sector 126 on Tuesday, Jaitley said the idea of CSR was met with resistance at the beginning as many in the corporate world felt that it was an "additional tax" being imposed on them.

Calling the CSR expenditure being made mandatory for corporates in 2013 a "good beginning", he said that initially, not all the funds were spent towards CSR activity by corporates. "In the very initial years in the government we did calculate the width of the whole CSR to be implemented. In its very first stage, it should have been to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore. Obviously, the entire amount was not fully invested, there was lack of understanding and awareness about it," he said.

"While the idea is working well, strict discipline has to be enforced so that the expenditure is not camouflaged," he said.

Jaitley said that corporate philanthropy has begun well as an institutionalised mechanism in the form of CSR. In a statement to IANS, he said, “Conventionally corporate philanthropy lesser known in India. But it has begun well as institutionalised mechanism.”

(With inputs from Times of India and The Financial Express)

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