Corporate Social Responsibility

Every company having net worth of rupees five hundred crore or more, or turnover of rupees one thousand crore or more or a net profit of rupees five crore or more during [the immediately preceding financial year] shall constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board consisting of three or more directors, out of which at least one director shall be an independent director:

Provision Before Amendment:

Sub-section (5) The Board of every company referred to in sub-section (1), shall ensure that the company spends, in every financial year, at least two per cent of the average net profits of the company made during the three immediately preceding financial years, in pursuance of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy:

Provided that the company shall give preference to the local area and areas around it where it operates, for spending the amount earmarked for Corporate Social Responsibility activities:

Provided further that if the company fails to spend such amount, the Board shall, in its report made under clause (o) of sub-section (3) of section 134, specify the reasons for not spending the amount.

[Explanation: – For the purposes of this section “net profit” shall not include such sums as may be prescribed, and shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of section 198.]

Amendment in section 135 of the principal Act, —

Legal Provision

(a) in sub-section (5), —

(i) after the words “three immediately preceding financial years,”, the words “or where the company has not completed the period of three financial years since its incorporation, during such immediately preceding financial years,” shall be inserted;

(ii) in the second proviso, after the words “reasons for not spending the amount” occurring at the end, the words, brackets, figure and letters “and, unless the unspent amount relates to any ongoing project referred to in sub-section (6), transfer such unspent amount to a Fund specified in Schedule VII, within a period of six months of the expiry of the financial year” shall be inserted;

(b) after sub-section (5), the following sub-sections shall be inserted, namely: –

“(6) Any amount remaining unspent under sub-section (5), pursuant to any ongoing project, fulfilling such conditions as may be prescribed, undertaken by a company in persuance of its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, shall be transferred by the company within a period of thirty days from the end of the financial year to a special account to be opened by the company in that behalf for that financial year in any scheduled bank to be called the Unspent Corporate Social Responsibility Account, and such amount shall be spent by the company in pursuance of its obligation towards the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy within a period of three financial years from the date of such transfer, failing which, the company shall transfer the same to a Fund specified in Schedule VII, within a period of thirty days from the date of completion of the third financial year.

(7) If a company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (5) or sub-section (6), the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees and every officer of such company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

(8) The Central Government may give such general or special directions to a company or class of companies as it considers necessary to ensure compliance of provisions of this section and such company or class of companies shall comply with such directions.”.

Summary :

  • In case the unspent amount does not relate to any ongoing project, unspent amounts to be transferred to a Fund specified under Schedule VII within a period of six months of the expiry of the financial year.
  • In case the unspent amount relates to any ongoing project subject to fulfilling of prescribed conditions, unspent amounts to be transferred by the company within a period of thirty days from the end of the financial year to a special account to be opened by the company in that behalf for that financial year in any scheduled bank to be called the Unspent Corporate Social Responsibility Account.
  • Such amount shall be spent by the company in pursuance of its obligation towards the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy within a period of three financial years from the date of such transfer, failing which, the company shall transfer the same to a Fund specified in Schedule VII, within a period of thirty days from the date of completion of the third financial year.
  • Penal provisions inserted as under:
    • The company – punishable with fine which shall not be less than Rs. 50,000 but which may extend to Rs. 25 lakh
    • Every officer of such company who is in default – shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which shall not be less than Rs. 50,000 but which may extend to Rs. 5 lakh, or with both.
  • MCA empowered to give general or special directions to a company or class of companies as it considers necessary to ensure compliance of provisions of this section.

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