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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as Odisha claims of drawing actual private investment to the tune Rs 47,434 crore in 2019, the blooper for the State is the amount spent under CSR in the same period had been the lowest ever since inception.

As per the data available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the amount spent under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Odisha in the year 2019-20 stood at Rs 215 crore, which is the lowest ever since 2014-15 (the year of inception).

The State had received the highest CSR fund worth Rs 682 crore in 2018-19. Interestingly, the actual private investment to the State in that year stood at mere Rs 3,808 crore.

The nagging fact for the State is the CSR fund promised in 2019-20 is lower than Rs 252 crore spent in the inception year of 2014-15.

THE SILVER LINING

However, the silver lining for the State is many aspirational districts have seen good pumping of CSR funds.

As per the data available, while Angul, a developed and industrial district, topped the State by netting in CSR fund totalling Rs 35.44 crore, Koraput, a backward district received the second-highest amount totalling Rs 30 crore.

Except for Nuapada, all the aspirational districts in the KBK region had received CSR fund worth over Rs 2 crore.

THE ZERO DISTRICTS

As many as three districts - Keonjhar, Deogarh and Boudh - have drawn a blank in CSR fund inflow.

What comes as very surprising is when Keonjhar has been the cradle of mines in the State, the district couldn't get a single rupee from the CSR fund. As per the latest data, Keonjhar has a high of 31 large and medium industries in 2019-20.

RAYAGADA VS KEONJHAR

The backward district of Rayagada is rich in bauxite and limestone mines; whereas Keonjhar is rich in mines ranging from iron, manganese to chromite etc.

The district of Rayagada has in 2019-20 only 4 medium and large units as against Keonjhar's massive 31.

But when it comes to CSR amount spent in 2019-20, Rayagada district received an amount of Rs 4.6 crore.

THE CSR ACT 2014

As per the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Act 2014, a company recording net profit for three consecutive years need to contribute 2 per cent of their net profit for CSR activities in the district or area where they operate.

The CSR projects will be decided by a committee headed by the Chief Secretary of Odisha. The CS led committee will biennially review the progress made in CSR fund inflow and their utilisation.

As per sources, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra will soon take a review meeting on the progress of CSR projects and fund utilisation. And civil societies operating in Keonjhar hope that the meeting will focus on the reasons behind zero fund flow to the district in 2019-20.     

 

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