Nirmala Sitharaman Says 'CSR Violations Not to Be Treated as Criminal Offence'
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, August 23: Allaying industry concerns, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said violations of CSR norms under the companies law will be treated only as a civil liability and not as a criminal offence. The corporate affairs ministry would review the sections concerned under the Companies Act, she said. Industry has expressed concerns over penal provisions for non-compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements in the amended Companies Act, 2013. Nirmala Sitharaman Allots Rs 70,000 Crore to Recapitalise PSBs on Immediate Basis, Provides Additional Lending of Rs 5 Lakh Crore to Boost Economy.

Addressing the media on measures to boost the economy, Sitharaman said the government respects and honours wealth creators. "CSR violations... not be be treated as criminal offence and will be civil liability," Sitharaman, who also holds the charge of the corporate affairs ministry, said. The government has provided companies through revised orders more time for completing ongoing projects as part of their CSR obligations.

Highlights of Sitharaman's Press Conference:

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Under the Act, certain class of profitable companies are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. To address concerns over alleged harassment of taxpayers, Sitharaman said it has been decided that from October 1, all notices, summons, and orders of the Income Tax Department would be issued through a centralised computer system and would also have a a computer generated unique Document Identification Number.