Education sector got the maximum funds of Rs 15,742 crore from the CSR expenditure made by corporates since 2014-15, while such contribution towards armed forces and war widows was just above Rs 81 crore, Parliament was informed on Monday.
Under the Companies Act, certain classes of profitable companies are required to shell out at least 2 per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in a particular financial year and the requirement came into force from April 1, 2014.
Overall, companies in India spent over Rs 52,533 crore on CSR activities during the last four years (2014-15 to current fiscal till June, 2019), Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
The CSR activities taken up by the companies relate to various sectors including education, healthcare, sanitation, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation and skill development.
Of the total of over Rs 52,533 crore, companies incurred a CSR expenditure of over Rs 15,742 crore on education sector, followed by healthcare (over Rs 9,093 crore) and rural development projects (over Rs 5,467 crore).
Among other sectors, firms spent a total of Rs 3,723 crore on environment sustainability, Swachh Bharat Kosh (Rs 837 crore), Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (Rs 763 crore), safe drinking water (Rs 612 crore), senior citizens welfare (Rs 91 crore).
Besides, funds to the tune of Rs 81.5 crore were spent on armed forces, veterans, war widows/dependents, Rs 69.71 crore was spent on technology incubators and Rs 67.1 crore was spent towards Clean Ganga Fund.
In a separate reply, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered 30 cases against 104 shell companies during the last four years -- 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
Further, during the investigation of 108 cases, as many as 894 shell companies have been detected wherein irregularities such as falsification of financial statement, bank fraud, diversion of funds, impersonation, cheating, abuse of official position, criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct were found, she added.