The National Corporate Social Responsibility Data Portal is an initiative by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India to establish a platform to disseminate Corporate Social Responsibility related data and information filed by the companies registered with it. The portal was launched on January 19, 2018.
The importance of inclusive growth is widely recognized as an essential part of India's quest for development. It reiterates our firm commitment to include those sections of the society in the growth process, which had hitherto remained excluded from the mainstream of development. In line with this national endeavor, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was conceived as an instrument for integrating social, environmental and human development concerns in the entire value chain of corporate business. Ministry of Corporate Affairs had issued 'Voluntary Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility, 2009' as a first step towards mainstreaming the concept of Business Responsibilities. This was further refined subsequently, as 'National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011'.
The National Voluntary Guidelines (NVGs) on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in July 2011, is essentially a set of nine principles that offer Indian businesses an understanding and approach to inculcate responsible business conduct.
These nine principles are :
These guidelines not being prescriptive in nature, nevertheless seek to guide Indian businesses to take into account Indian social and business realities and the global trends, while promoting their businesses.
Principle (viii) of the NVGs on 'inclusive growth and equitable development' focuses on encouraging business action on national development priorities, including community development initiatives and strategic CSR based on the shared value concept. This principle of NVG was subsequently translated into a mandatory provision of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013.
The 21st Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance is one of the prime movers for bringing the CSR provisions within the statute. It was observed by the Standing Committee, that annual statutory disclosures on CSR required to be made by the companies under the Act would be a sufficient check on non-compliance. Section 135(4) of the Companies Act 2013 mandates every company qualifying under Section 135(1) to make a statutory disclosure of CSR in its Annual Report of the Board. Rule 9 of the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy), Rules, 2014 prescribes the format in which such disclosure is to be made.
Enactment of Companies Act, 2013 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India was one of the world's largest experiments of introducing the CSR as a mandatory provision by imposing statutory obligation on Companies to take up CSR projects towards social welfare activities. This has made India the only country which has regulated and mandated CSR for some select categories of companies registered under the Act.
The National CSR Data Portal captures information on CSR activities carried out by eligible companies, filed on the MCA21 registry in their financial statements. The filed information provides a snap shot of CSR activities carried out by companies.
The CSR portal contains all filed information, which can generate pre-defined reports with respect to expenditure across states, districts, development sectors, etc. The Portal also provides for feedback on projects to be given by registered users.
The initiative is a significant step towards driving accountability and transparency for corporate India. By making the portal accessible to general public, it will ensure high level of compliance and also in institutionalising and consolidating the CSR activities. The open access to data is expected to help researchers, improve quality of data filed by companies, as well as involve intended beneficiaries in giving valuable feedback to companies.
To access the portal, click here.
Source : National CSR Data Portal.