CSR in India … back to Square One

The CSR laws that came into force in India really should be called Philanthropy laws, because that’s what they are.

I had been planning to write on this, but after reading Mallen Baker’s blog post on the topic, I don’t have a lot to add. So instead, here is a link to his post, Should CSR be made compulsory after all?.

The only significant thing I might add, is that naming laws that imposes compulsory philanthropic targets on certain companies as ‘CSR’ will mean that Indians will come to think of CSR as philanthropy. That won’t necessarily set back the growth of responsible business (although I think it makes it more likely), but it does mean that other terms like Sustainability or Responsible Business become more important.


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  1. Kishore Kavadia says:

    I totally agree with Mr.Dwayne- since making CSR compulsory will bring in focus of ‘somehow’ making contributions towards ‘compulsory’ statutory requirements and the real cause of CSR to bring in participative management for holistic development will not happen. However there are number of Corporate Cases where CSR is seen to be ‘business orientation’- making community productive and financially empowered. This will not happen with ‘philanthropy’.

  2. India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs has clarified that some kinds of Creating Shared Value will qualify. (http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/General_Circular_21_2014.pdf ). That’s welcome relief and will help some companies to use their core skills to engage with legitimate social issues – sorely needed in India.

    There are still several things prohibited in the clarification, but companies are now in a better place than they were in relation to expanding the definition of CSR.

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