HDFC Bank, country’s largest private sector lender has said on August 14, 2019, that it spent Rs 443.80 crore on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the fiscal year ending March 2019.
This is after the government released a list of entities which was named as having fallen short of the mandatory spending, and it included HDFC Bank. According to the Companies ACT 2013, certain sized entities are made to allocate 2 per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR. However, despite the law, there are several companies who fail to comply.
The statement, which comes amid increased attention from the Government to make entities comply with the mandatory spending requirements, said the expenditure was 20 per cent higher than the previous year. In the statement issued on Wednesday, the bank said it is taking a holistic approach to its responsibility towards the community, through an initiative called ‘Parivartan’.
“We are trying to bring about holistic, sustainable, long-term impact in their lives helping them as well as the nation progress,” it’s head of CSR Ashmia Bhat said. The bank said it has positively impacted 5 crore lives through the initiative. It has collected over 1 million units of blood, constructed or refurbished nearly 7,000 sanitation units in school, trained 7.6 lakh women in self-help groups and provided 21,000 renewable energy units, among others.
The bank said it is among the few corporate citizens to adopt an integrated reporting approach, which is a global best practice which is not mandatory in India. Earlier, in an unusual move, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) had relaxed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norms for two big corporates including HDFC Bank and Vodafone, allowing them to utilise their old unspent funds during this year. However, with new committee suggestion of allowing the corporates to transfer the unused funds to an escrow account, this will be a regular practice in order to provide the corporates with space to carry out their CSR projects with an appropriate pace in a smart calculated manner.