Odisha asks Companies to spend CSR funds as per local needs

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has asked the corporate houses to take up projects under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives as per local need in sync with the state's priorities.

The suggestions were made by chief secretary A P Padhi who presided over a CSR Council meeting held here on Thursday.

"The chief secretary has advised the companies and corporate houses to take up the projects as per local needs," said an official after the meeting.

Padhi further advised them to focus on 22 districts which were not covered under the District Mineral Fund (DMF) and Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC).

The meeting resolved that the CSR funds should be spent on education, health services and rural development projects.

Other categories of projects to be included under the funds are environment conservation and improvement, gender equality and empowerment, relief works, Swachh Bharat, preservation of development of national heritage, armed forces, sports, slum area development and technology incubators.

Industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra said CSR spending in the state from fiscal year 2014-15 to 2017-18 has been to the tune of Rs 1,426 crore.

Around 1,593 rural development projects, 1,119 education and skill development projects, 1,011 health care projects, 384 environment improvement projects, 273 projects for promotion of sports & culture, 204 national heritage conservation projects, 191 projects under Swachh Bharat, 160 projects relating to gender equality & improvement, 16 relief oriented projects, 7 slum area development projects have been implemented with the CSR funds so far, Chopra said.

So far, an additional 1,021 projects in these sectors with estimated cost of around Rs 1,832 crore have been received from different districts and government departments, Chopra said.

The CSR is governed by Section 135 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013. Companies having either net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or annual net profit of Rs 5 crore are required to spend at least 2 per cent of their average net profit on CSR activities.

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