Almost half of Reliance Industries’ Rs 1,022cr CSR funds donated to PM-CARES in 2019-20 fiscal

Almost half of Reliance Industries’ Rs 1,022cr CSR funds donated to PM-CARES in 2019-20 fiscal
Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries’ spending on CSR activities during the 2019-20 fiscal increased by 13 per cent to Rs 1,022 crore from the previous year, with almost half of its funds been contributed to the PM-CARES for tackling COVID-19 pandemic.

The company was required to spend Rs 987 in the 2019-20 fiscal as per the section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.

In its annual report, the Reliance Industries said its spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities increased to Rs 1,022 crore in the 2019-20 fiscal from Rs 904 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal.

Of the total expenditure, about Rs 500 crore was donated to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).

CSR activities of RIL are carried out under the aegis of Reliance Foundation, led by Nita M Ambani.

Reliance Industries CSR spend in 2019-20   (₹ in crore)
Particulars 2019-20 2018-19
Rural Transformation 86 156
Health 55 116
Education 277 540
Sports For Development 64 59
Disaster Response 531 31
Urban Renewal 4 1
Arts, Culture and Heritage 5 1
Total 1,022 904
In fact, the company’s total CSR spending on disaster reponse was at Rs 531 crore including PM-CARES fund in 2019-20, much higher than Rs 31 crore funds spent in the previous fiscal year.

The company said it responded fast to national emergencies and disasters including floods and more recently, COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 10 lakh people were supported in 14 states in the aftermath of disasters. About 5.6 lakh people received early warning/post disaster advisories, besides technology enabled support to organisations, it said.

The company gave capacity building for over 700 individuals for better response to emergency situations during the 2019-20 fiscal.

As much of the funds were donated to the PM-CARES, the spending on other areas remained lower when compared with the previous year.

The spending on education was Rs 277 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs 540 crore in the previous year, while for rural transformation at Rs 86 crore from Rs 156 crore and for health related activities funds declined to Rs 55 crore from Rs 116 crore in the said period.

The company said about 2 lakh underprivileged children were provided with quality education, 43,000 students and over 1,000 teachers were empowered by Reliance Foundation digital classrooms, while 15,645 students enrolled in 14 Reliance Foundation Schools in 2019-20. It also disbursed 12,776 Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarships in the said period.

The spending on sports developments rose marginally to Rs 64 crore from Rs 59 crore, while on urban renewal and arts, culture and heritage increased to Rs 4 crore and Rs 5 crore, respectively, from Rs 1 crore each in the previous year.

About Rs 229 crore was contributed to the Reliance Foundation Institution of Education, Rs 222 crore to Reliance Foundation and Rs 47 crore to the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports during the 2019-20 fiscal, the report added.
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"CSR is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it because it is good for our business."
Niall FitzGerald
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