CSR: ITC Limited spends Rs. 363 Crores to create significant and sustainable societal value

BY Rusen Kumar

NEW DELHI (India CSR): The amount to be spent by ITC Limited during the year as per Section 135 read together with Section 198 of the Companies Act 2013 was Rs. 362.56 crores ( 2021 – Rs. 357.17 crore) or 2% of the company’s average net profit amounting to Rs. 363.19 Crores less compensation for excess CSR expenditure of Rs. 0.63 crore of the financial year 2020-21 .

ITC’s overall commitment to creating meaningful and sustainable societal value is evident in its CSR initiatives that embrace the most disadvantaged sections of society, particularly in rural India, through economic empowerment based on grassroots capacity building.

CSR expenses incurred during the year were Rs. 363.37 Crores (2021 – Rs. 357.80 Crores) comprising an employee benefit expense of Rs. 15.92 Crores (2021 – Rs. 14.96 Crores) and other expenses of Rs. 347.45 Crores (2021 – Rs. 342.84 Crores), of which Rs. 26.01 Crores (2021 – Rs. 11.94 Crores) are accounted for payment as of March 31, 2022. This includes an amount of Rs. 3.90 Crores on the ongoing project of the financial year 2021-22, which was deposited in the unspent CSR account in April 2022.

The average net profit of the company under Section 135(5) stood at Rs. 17,744.39 crores.

This CSR expenditure excludes Rs. 5.85 Crores (2021 -Rs. 5.72 Crores) being the excess of CSR staff salary expenditure and administrative expenditure over the 5% limit of total CSR expenditure set by Rule 7(1) of the Companies Rules (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy), 2014 applies to individual entities.

CSR activities undertaken during the year relate to poverty reduction; promote education and skills development; promote health care, including preventive health care; ensure sanitation and drinking water; ensuring environmental sustainability; enabling climate resilience; rural development projects; create livelihoods for people, especially those from disadvantaged sections of society; protection of national heritage, art and culture; preserve and promote music; and the provision of relief and assistance to victims of disasters and calamities.

ITC’s overall commitment to creating meaningful and sustainable societal value is evident in its CSR initiatives that embrace the most disadvantaged sections of society, particularly in rural India, through economic empowerment based on grassroots capacity building.

To this end, your company has a comprehensive CSR policy outlining the programs, projects and activities that your company undertakes to create a significant positive impact on identified stakeholders.

All of these programs fall within the scope of Section 135 read with Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013 and the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules 2014.

The CSR and Sustainability Committee provides strategic direction to the company’s CSR and sustainability practices in pursuit of its triple bottom line objectives.

The CSR and Sustainable Development Committee is currently made up of the Chairman of the Company and seven Non-Executive Directors, including three Independent Directors. The Chairman of the Company is the Chairman of the Committee.

The company secretary is the secretary of the committee.

The names of the members of the CSR and Sustainable Development Committee, including its Chairman, are provided in the “Board of Directors and Committees” section of the Report and Accounts.

To this end, the Company has a comprehensive CSR policy outlining the programs, projects and activities that your Company undertakes to create a significant positive impact on identified stakeholders.

All of these programs fall within the scope of Section 135 read with Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013 and the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules 2014.

The key elements of its CSR interventions consist of:

– deepen engagement in key operating geographies identified to promote holistic development and design interventions to address the most significant development challenges of your company’s stakeholder groups.

– build the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs)/community organizations (CBOs) in all the project watersheds for participatory planning, ownership and sustainability of interventions.

– drive the development agenda in a way that empowers women and benefits poor and marginalized communities in industrial and agricultural catchments, thereby significantly improving Human Development Indexes (HDIs).

– ensuring behavior change with a focus on generating demand for all interventions, enabling participation, contribution and the creation of assets for the community.

– strive to evolve with impact by leveraging government partnerships and accessing the most up-to-date technical knowledge/skills.

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