ICAI committee to help corporates identify CSR projects

The accounting regulator has formed a PAC to help corporates to identify social sector projects specific to an industry.

New Delhi: Accounting regulator the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has formed an advisory committee of chartered accountants to help corporates identify social sector projects on which they would be required to spend 2% of their net profit, reports PTI.

The Public Advisory Committee of ICAI, has been set up with the view to protect public interest, said the newly-appointed ICAI president G Ramaswamy.
"We have formed a Public Advisory Committee with the view to help public interest.. Even for the corporate social responsibility (CSR)... A good viable project will be identified by ICAI and we will play the role of an advisory between the corporates and the public," he told PTI.

He said that it would advice companies to take up CSR projects specific to the industry they belongs to.

"For example, companies in the chemical industry could take up CSR projects related to environment protection. That way it will provide a balance," Mr Ramaswamy said.

The Companies Bill, 2009, has proposed that companies should earmark 2% of the average profit of the preceding three years for CSR activities, and make a disclosure to shareholders about the policy adopted in the process.

Industry has been of the view that they should be allowed to monitor implementation of CSR themselves without the government intervention, which the government has accepted.

The suggestion for earmarking a part of a company's profit for CSR was floated by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, which scrutinised the Companies Bill, 2009.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) proposed that "Every company having net worth of Rs500 crore or more, or turnover of Rs1,000 crore or more or a net profit of Rs 5 crore or more during a year shall be required to formulate a CSR Policy ... As may be approved and specified by the company."

While state-run or public sector units (PSUs) whose net profit is less than Rs100 crore have to contribute 3%-5% of their bottomline for CSR, PSUs with profits between Rs100-Rs500 crore will earmark 2%-3%.

In case of public sector companies earning a profit of Rs500 crore and above, CSR spending should be between 0.5% to 2% of the net profit.

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Rangarajan: Fuel price hike inevitable if crude oil rates remain high

Chairman of the prime minister’s economic advisory council says we may have to wait a few weeks more to see what happens to prices. He believes decline in food inflation will be visible from March

Chennai: In the context of the crisis in Libya, an increase in fuel prices would become "inevitable" if crude oil remains at $100 a barrel, according to C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

"If crude oil prices remain above $100, it will be a cause of concern. It will require some action on our part. Some adjustments in terms of raising the prices of petroleum products will become inevitable," Dr Rangarajan told journalists on the sidelines of a function here today.

"Concern for India, primarily is because of increase in prices of crude oil. We might want to watch for a few more weeks to see what would happen," he said.

Asked about food inflation, Dr Rangarajan said it would decline from March. "You see, the impact of the decline in vegetable prices started somewhere in the second week of February. Therefore, even the February numbers may not fully reflect the impact of the decline in vegetable prices. March numbers, I believe will show the result (and) it will come down. One can expect a sharper decline in March," he said.

Asked whether the government was mulling decontrol of prices of diesel, he said policy changes were required for it. "I have already explained that some policy action will be required on that," he said.

Dr Rangarajan hinted that the government would not exempt companies in Special Economic Zones from Multiple Alternative Tax (MAT). "(In the case of MAT) universal application is that all companies should pay a certain minimum tax if they show up some profits. However, if companies in SEZ should be exempted from MAT, is a matter for consideration. The view that has been taken so far is that MAT should be applied to it," he said.

Dr Rangarajan was here to attend the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between Madras School of Economics and the Central University of Tamil Nadu. The agreement between the two educational institutions would enable students to do a five-year integrated programme that will yield a MSc degree in economics, financial economics and other post-graduate programmes being run by MSE, where Dr Rangarajan is chairman. The scope of the partnership ranges from collaboration in teaching, offering training programmes to carrying out research activities.

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Kotak Life Insurance launches Kotak Assured Income Plan

Kotak Assured Income Plan guarantees a second income of up to 10.10% of the basic sum assured to customers for a period of 20 years

Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance has launched Kotak Assured Income Plan. The plan is an ideal investment avenue for customers who desire a steady, tax-free and guaranteed second income to indulge in life's little luxuries with absolute peace of mind. The plan guarantees a second income of up to 10.10% of the basic sum assured to customers for a period of 20 years. In addition to the annual income, up to 110% of basic sum assured will be paid on maturity.

Customers have the flexibility to pay for a limited term and enjoy the benefit of long term cover. The plan provides life cover for 30 years for a premium payment term of 15 years and on death, any time during the policy term it guarantees the customer his basic sum assured.  

The plan has the feature of reduced paid up which allows the customer to continue the policy after premium for at least three years have been paid (In such cases the basic sum assured will reduce depending on the number of premiums paid). The plan's policy loan feature allows customers to tide over liquidity problems by borrowing up to 80% of the surrender value.

Optional rider benefits can be bought to guard against unforeseen situations such as accidental death and permanent disability of the life insured. The plan also offers life guardian benefit and accidental disability guardian benefit as riders to ensure continuation of the policy after the death or accidental disability of the policyholder.  

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