PAC Targets Odisha Over ‘Poor CSR Funds’

Bhubaneswar: During a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today, committee Chairman and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Pradipta Kumar Naik expressed disappointment over the use of funds under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Naik rued that despite companies making a huge profit, they spend negligible amount of the CSR fund in social development. The fund is being used as per whims and fancies of the companies, as they do not mention the profit earned, he said.

Reports claimed that in 2015-16, a total of Rs 603.29 crore was spent under CSR by various companies while in 2018-19, it reduced to Rs 156 crore despite a huge surge in production and growing number of companies.

Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said, “The companies should spend 2 per cent of the profit earned towards CSR. But they are not doing so and surprisingly, everyone is silent. The CSR funds are not utilised properly as per the requirements of the people. It is a fact that the companies are cheating us and we are mute spectators. We have given a few suggestions to the concerned department which we will again discuss in the next meeting.”

Finance Secretary Ashok Meena, on the other hand, said that CSR fund is being utilised as per the policies of the Centre while the State government can only request companies.

“The PAC wanted to know how the State is encouraging the companies to spend 2 per cent of the profit towards CSR. We submitted a report to them in this regard. They have also asked for a status paper mentioning that the State has pursued companies for proper utilisation of CSR funds,” said Meena.