The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday informed that Public Sector Oil Companies (PSUs) have been earmarking 2% of their average Net Profits made during the three immediately preceding financial years as per Section 135 of the Companies Act and the CSR activities are undertaken under the heads identified under Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013.
Public Sector Oil Companies have spent Rs. 5582.34 crore under CSR in various parts of the country during the last three years (2018-19 to 2020-21). The State-wise details of CSR activities undertaken and funds spent thereon during the last 3 years are available on the respective websites of the Public Sector Oil Companies.
After China and the United States, India is the third-largest energy consumer in the world. Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) are PSUs that have a near-monopoly in the sector. The infrastructure for natural gas transmission as well as that of petroleum products like petrol and diesel has been created over decades. Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) has emerged as the major operator of gas pipelines.
Earlier this year, five state-owned oil and gas PSUs had committed Rs. 100 crore for the redevelopment of the Badrinath Dham in Uttarakhand as a “spiritual smart city”. The announcement triggered questions on why the country’s public oil companies are directing CSR funds towards this project at a time when India was dealing with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. ONGC, GAIL, and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) are each contributing about Rs. 25 crore to the redevelopment project while HPCL and BPCL are contributing about Rs. 20 crore and Rs. 5.5 crore respectively.
Public Sector Oil Companies have been doing impact assessment exercise of some of their major CSR projects internally or through external agencies. However, as per changes made in CSR rules by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in January, 2021, it has been decided that impact assessment of CSR projects having outlays of Rs. 1 crore or more, shall be undertaken through an independent agency. The impact assessment reports shall be annexed to the annual report on CSR.