CSR expenditure increases 11% to Rs 10,030 crore in FY18

India Inc’s social spending crossed Rs 10,000 crore last year, led by Reliance Industries and Oil Natural Gas Corporation.

Spending on corporate social responsibility projects increased 11% to Rs 10,030 crore in 2017-18, according to an analysis of 1,080 of 1,795 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange by PRIME Database Group.

“CSR expenditure by NSE-listed companies has grown at a healthy CAGR of 16% over the last three years,” said Pranav Haldea, managing director of PRIME Database Group.

The number of companies that spent on CSR increased to 1,016 (94% of the companies analysed) in 2017-18 from 931 (92%) in 2016-17. The top 10 companies together accounted for 36% of the total spending on CSR.

The top spenders in terms of absolute CSR expenditure were Reliance Industries, ONGC, Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC Bank, Indian Oil Corp, Infosys, ITC, NTPC, Tata Steel and Wipro.

Overall, 560 companies, or 59%, increased their spending from the previous year.

However, contributions to two government focus areas fell.

Spending on Swachh Bharat declined 10% to Rs 521 crore, while funding for the Clean Ganga project dropped 47% to Rs 80 crore, data showed. The highest contribution towards Swachh Bharat was in 2015-16, at Rs 1,009 crore.

As in the previous year, education received the most funding (38% of the total), followed by healthcare (25%). Spending was small in areas such as reducing inequalities (2%), national heritage (4%), armed forces (1%), sports (2%) and the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund (2%). However, in comparison to the previous year, these areas saw the highest percentage increase in spending, with the PM’s fund attracting the biggest rise of 139%.

Allocations as a proportion of the total under various schedules remained fairly constant over the previous year, said Haldea.

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