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Institutional EYE

Commentary on Corporate Governance Issues

Corporate Social Responsibility: Taking root

IiAS studied the FY15 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and disclosures of the S&P BSE 100 companies. The disclosures show that corporates are embracing CSR enthusiastically. The CSR spend of these 100 companies, aggregated to Rs.52.4 bn for FY15. Although the spend was 26% lower than the prescribed amount, it is up almost 75% from Rs.30.0 bn in FY13. This amount is further expected to increase to Rs.85.0 bn in the current financial year.

Data reveals that even before the statutory CSR norms were put in play, the larger companies were spending on social and environmental causes: evidence that companies in India recognize the need for undertaking socially responsible activities. Nonetheless, the regulatory framework for CSR is a step in the right direction as it encourages companies to broaden their remit beyond their immediate stakeholders.

However, CSR needs to be sustainable for it to continue to enthuse corporates and to have meaningful long-term impact. For this, companies need to have skin in the game. IiAS believes this will happen when companies integrate CSR to their strategic goals.

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