State got less than 1% of funds spent by government, private corporate houses in 5 years.

 

New Delhi: Bihar saw Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending to the tune of Rs 440 crore in the five-year period of 2015 to 2019. The CSR amount that was spent across India in the same time period was Rs 71,277 crore. Unemployment and the resultant migration, which came to the fore during the national lockdown, have become election issues in the state.

In percentage terms, this means that Bihar only got 0.62% (not even 1%) from the total CSR funds that were spent by government and private corporate houses as a part of their statutory duty across the country.

This low figure also signifies the ground reality when it comes to employment opportunities in the state, as there are not just enough companies and businesses that are functioning in the state.

Bihar, which is considered as a BIMARU state (other states which are clubbed in this informal grouping are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh), has performed the worst among all these four states. In the same time period (2015-19), Madhya Pradesh saw CSR to the amount of Rs 1,007 crore being spent (1.41%), Rajasthan witnessed Rs 1,936 crore of CSR activities (2.71%), while Rs 1,700 crore (2.38%) was spent in Uttar Pradesh in the corresponding five years.

West Bengal, which is also considered as an economically weaker state, saw Rs 1,550 crore (2.17) of CSR funds being spent across the state.

As per The Companies Act, firms with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or a turnover of Rs 100 crore or more, or a net profit of Rs 5 crore or more during the immediately preceding financial year are required to spend 2% of their profits on Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

In the Patna region, among the top four CSR spenders are all government bodies, including the Power Grid Corporation of India, Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited, Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited and NTPC Limited.

In contrast, states like Maharashtra got more CSR funds in one year than what Bihar got in the last five years. In 2019 alone, Maharashtra witnessed CSR spending to the tune of Rs 2846.73 crore, Karnataka saw Rs 1222.44 crore being spent on various CSR activities, while the figure for Gujarat was Rs 1059.41 crore.

In 2019, the pan-India CSR spent was Rs 18,653.48 crore, out of which the amount spent in Bihar was a paltry 136.43 crore.