The COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc in the country with limited resources and numerous cases at a time. The healthcare emergency caused because of this led the companies in India to shift their CSR focus towards healthcare more than any other sector. It is certainly the case in Gujarat where the healthcare sector has grabbed the largest share of CSR expenditure, according to the National CSR Data Portal, an initiative by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Sector-wise CSR Spending in Gujarat
The National CSR Data Portal has revealed that the total of Rs. 582 Crores spent on CSR initiatives by about 280 companies (Public and Private) of Gujarat in FY 21. Of this amount, healthcare, eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation has received over Rs. 331 Crores of share of CSR expenditure, which accounts for 55 per cent of the total share. The second-largest share is received by the education sector in the state, amounting to over Rs. 172 crores.
The lowest CSR expenditure in the state is made on slum area development. Sports development has also received a minuscule share of 1.7 cores.
Share of Healthcare Sector in CSR in Gujarat
In percentage terms, this is the highest share that the sector has received ever since 2014-15 when it was mandatory for companies to spend 2% of their 3-year average net profit for CSR projects. The healthcare sector accounted for 33% and 23% of Gujarat’s total CSR expenditure in 2019-20 and 2018-19, respectively.
Companies wholeheartedly made contributions to the relief funds of the prime minister and state chief ministers. Corporate firms took up several initiatives such as distribution of masks, PPE kits, hand sanitisers as well as providing oxygen cylinders, putting up oxygen plants and creating COVID-care facilities.
Top Spenders in Gujarat
The ministry data has shown that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Limited and Torrent Power Limited has spent the maximum amount towards overall CSR activities in the state during fiscal 2021.
Trends for CSR Spending for FY 22 in Gujarat
The CSR expenditure made during the first quarter of the financial year shows that the trend of prioritizing the healthcare sector is to continue this year. The trend is reassuring for the sector, however, more attention is required for the education sector as well, considering the fact that it has taken major blows during the pandemic.