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BRIEF NOTE ON LEGAL STATUS OF CSR IN INDIA – BROADLY COVERING VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is viewed

as a comprehensive set of policies, practices and programs that are integrated into business operations, supply chains, and decision-making processes throughout the organization -- wherever the organization does business -- and includes responsibility for current and past actions as well as future impacts CSR involves addressing the legal, ethical, commercial and other e!pectations society has for business, and making decisions that fairly balance the claims of all key stakeholders "ffective CSR aims at #achieving commercial success in ways that honor ethical values and respect people, communities, and the natural environment LEGAL STATUS IN INDIA: $he %inistry of Corporate &ffairs (%C&), issued a set of voluntary CSR guidelines at the end of year '(() known as Corporate Social Responsibility *oluntary +uidelines, '(() Sh Salman ,hurshid, the then minister provided the conte!t for the guidelines and wrote that -.e have seen the business sector generating wealth and value for the shareholders in the last si!ty years, but simultaneously we also have the problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition etc , facing the nation $he corporate growth is sometimes seen as widening the gap between the /ndia and 0harat through its income - skewing capability $his gap needs to be bridged .hile the +overnment undertakes e!tensive developmental initiatives through a series of sectoral programmes, the business sector also needs to take the responsibility of e!hibiting socially responsible business practices that ensures the distribution of wealth and well-being of the communities in which the business operates - $he intent of the guidelines is to add company value, focus on long-term sustainability contributions and provide benefit to stakeholders and society $he said Corporate Social Responsibility *oluntary +uidelines, '(() covers the following core elements1 (2) Care for all statekholders3 (') "thical functioning3 (4) Respect for workers5 rights and welfare3 (6) Respect for human rights3 (7) Respect for the environment3 and (8) &ctivities for social and inclusive development &fter a long debate and discussions over the same, the %C& had recently, in '(22 had came up with a new guideline to strengthen and enable the /ndian corporate sector to evolve into a global leader in responsible business (R0) named #9ational *oluntary +uidelines on Social, "nvironmental and "conomic responsibilities of 0usiness: Shri %urli ;eora, the then %inster, said that the beginning of industrialization marked the transition from merchant charity to industrial philanthropy in /ndia which was more secular, more inclusive in terms of caste, creed and community and more oriented to bringing progress to society through western style modern institutions $hese guidelines 2

"nvironmental and "conomic responsibilities of 0usiness comprises of the following 9/9" principles of CSR1 2 ' 4 6 7 8 @ A 0usiness to conduct and govern themselves with "thics. customer relationships.were formulated keeping in view the diverse sectors within which businesses operate.ellbeing of all employees 0usiness to #respect the interest of. supply chain management etc 0usiness will now have to look at all these aspects with greater seriousness to >ualify to be called responsible business (R0) 9ational *oluntary +uidelines on Social. vulnerable and marginalized: 0usiness to respect and promote ?uman Rights 0usiness should respect. $ransparency and &ccountability $he provision of goods and services that are safe and contribute to sustainability through out their life cycle . as well as the wide variety of business organizations that e!ist in /ndia today < from the small and medium enterprises to large corporate organizations Reading through the =rinciples and the Core "lements it is clear that the +uidelines cover almost the whole gamut of CSR $hey cover not only community service but also corporate governance. when engaged in influencing public and regulatory policy. environment. protect and make efforts to restore the environment 0usiness. should do so in a responsible manner 0usiness to support inclusive growth and e>uitable distribution 0usiness should engage with and provide value to their customers and consumers in a responsible manner $hey are the principles. which if applied diligently would make Corporate Social Responsibility more meaningful and beneficial for both business and society &s on date. activities pertaining to CSR in /ndia are not governed or made mandatory on /ndian Corporate under legislation e!cept Corporate +overnance ' . and be responsive towards all stakeholders. especially those who are disadvantaged.