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CSR violations not to be treated as criminal offence: Nirmala Sitharaman

Addressing the media on measures to boost the economy, Sitharaman said the government respects and honours wealth creators

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CSR violations not to be treated as criminal offence: Nirmala Sitharaman
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Allaying industry concerns, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said violations of CSR norms under the companies law will be treated only as civil liability and not as a criminal offence.

The corporate affairs ministry would review the sections concerned under the Companies Act, she said.

The industry has expressed concerns over penal provisions for non-compliance with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements in the amended Companies Act, 2013.

Addressing the media on measures to boost the economy, Sitharaman said the government respects and honours wealth creators.

"CSR violations... not 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.

Under the Act, a 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 computer-generated unique Document Identification Number.

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