CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY- Is it necessary?

India is the first country in the world to preserve corporate giving into law. Section 135 of the Companies act, 2013 makes it mandatory for certain companies, private limited or public limited, listed or unlisted, which either has a net worth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore, to spend at least 2% of its average net profit on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Areas they can invest this money in include education, poverty, gender equality, hunger and such others. This law was effective 1st April, 2014 onwards.

Presenting the bill in Parliament, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot termed the passage of the Bill as a new era for corporate law and regulation in Indian economy and said this is a 'historic moment for the country’. He said, "After 100 years, this is the second time that a new companies law has been legislated".

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, business entrepreneurs are trustees and not the owners of the social wealth and they have to spend a part of it for social causes. To describe the principle of this trusteeship he quoted, “enjoy the wealth, and take the minimum which you need, leave the rest to the welfare of community.”

When the Companies Act of 2013 was passed, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was for the first time formally introduced to the board of Indian Companies. CSR before that was often seen as a philanthropic activity in INDIA due to the old traditions and thoughts of “daan” and “seva” which exists in most people. It is all about the sustainability. Business needs the approval of society to prosper. We all live in this society. We all take things around us and consume for our own needs. How LONG? How long can we do that and not give back? What are we making of this world?

Corporations play a very important role in our society. They have huge political influence. They have large human resources together under one command. Thus, implementation of one wrong policy causes gigantic disorder and the inclusion of one correct policy causes huge positive effect. One step of the corporation towards a better society counts as not only one but thousands of steps. The amount of profit they earn is due to people. If they were to give back to society little bit out of that then not only will their value increase in share market, their brand loyalty and brand preference will also increase. Even if they don’t give back huge amount in monetary terms, their policies and methods should be such which should assist in making a better society. That is what CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is all about. With benefit comes duty. With privilege, there should be a Responsibility.

A corporation maybe a private body or a public sector, but it is in THIS society, OUR society. In a country such as India, where one-third of the population is illiterate, two-thirds lack access to proper sanitation, and 400 million people still live on less than 200 rupees a day, the passage of the Companies Act should have been hailed as a positive step forward in ensuring that business contributes to equitable and sustainable economic development. IT IS HIGHLY NECESSARY!

SHREYA MUKHOPADHYAY
School of law & justice (3rd semester)



INDIA STANDS IN QUEUES…

This is the breaking news and burning issue all over the country for the past few weeks for which headlines could be seen and heard for the last few days on Indian television news channels, radio sets and newspapers and are still continuing. About a week ago, on the night of 8th November 2016, Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi announced that from midnight of the next day, Indian currency denominations of Rupees 500 and 1000 would cease to be a legal tender; i.e.they would no longer have any monetary value. Mr. Modi said that this was the first step towards curbing black money so that hoarders, non-tax payers and terrorists who buy weapons using such illegal money feel the heat of indulging in corrupted means of acquiring money.

 

Hearing the news, the public rushed out immediately to the nearby banks and ATMs to withdraw cash in denominations of 100 and 50 rupees in order to carry out their daily household expenses.Within moments of this “demonetization” drive announcement from the central government people began exchanging their old rupees 500 and 100 denomination notes in places where it was still being accepted. The next two days were very crucial as the banks and ATMs were shut down to prepare for the mass withdrawals and deposits of money that were going to happen for the next few days or weeks and people were confused what they should do with their old money.

 

Social media was flooded with several posts making jokes and memes about the current crucial situation in India and all these provided a sense of comic relief amidst such a tense atmosphere.

 

In this time of distress online payment options offered through online payment companies PayTM, Mobikwik ,freecharge benefited a lot from this announcement as branded shops as well as local stores started accepting eCash when customers bought goods from them. Nevertheless the act of ‘shopping’ got heavily affected and traders and merchants of every type of goods and even entertainment hubs like movie halls, theatres, and clubs received very few patrons due to this “demonetization” drive all over the country.

 


In this time of distress online payment options offered through online payment companies PayTM, Mobikwik ,freecharge benefited a lot from this announcement as branded shops as well as local stores started accepting eCash when customers bought goods from them. Nevertheless the act of ‘shopping’ got heavily affected and traders and merchants of every type of goods and even entertainment hubs like movie halls, theatres, and clubs received very few patrons due to this “demonetization” drive all over the country.

 

Economically said this was really a great step on the part of the ruling government to curb black money and corruption as denominations of 500 and 1000 rupees currency notes were the most counterfeited in India and something had to be done to develop the slow movement of the Indian economy. But if seen from the common people’s perspective such a sudden announcement has almost rendered them helpless as they have to stand in long queues for hours at a stretch which have affected their life to a greater extent; debit and credit cards being handy during this period of crisis.

 

Deaths have occurred, the reason being not able to stand for such long hours and no separate arrangements being made for elderly, sick, disabled and pregnant women. Even the brides and grooms who were going to get married in a few days had to go through such a rigorous process before their big day to arrange money for their wedding expenses. Problems were being faced daily but a touch of humanity was showed by banks in few states who offered water and snacks to people in queues.

 

The situation was very serious all over India and it still is. But there’s sunshine after all after a series of grey clouds, people whole heartedly supported the government’s decision as even they wanted their motherland free of corruption, terrorism and black money, and yes new Indian currency notes of rupees 2000, rupees 500 and new coins of rupees 100, 50, 10, 1000 denominations have been launched with new improved technology so that these could not be counterfeited easily.

 

The finance minister, Mr. ArunJaitley and PM Modi have requested the people of India to cooperate with them and has wanted 50 days to solve this problem and balance the present situation saying that soon India would be a corruption free country, a country where development and economy will be of the first order and no person will sleep hungry.

Now it is for us to wait patiently and watch how this situation in our country smoothens slowly and gradually for a better life in the future for India and its citizens and how it contributes to the overall development of Indian infrastructure, economy and other factors.

Ruchita Das

MA: FinalYr

Journalism & Mass Com