NEW DELHI: The financial contribution of corporate houses and philanthropists to the government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been dwindling since the launch of the cleanliness campaign in October 2014. In 2015, the fund drew contributions of over `313 crore but the amount went down substantially to `97 crore in 2016. In 2017, contributions went up to `212 crore but that was way less than what the amount was in 2015.
The Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) was set up to attract corporate social responsibility funds from the corporate sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists in response to PM Narendra Modi’s call to achieve the objective of a Clean India by 2019.
Explaining the objective of setting up a separate fund, a government official said individuals and philanthropists had expressed interest in contributing to efforts for a Clean India. The SBK was set up to facilitate channelisation of philanthropic contributions and CSR funds towards the cause.
The funds received through SBK are used to improve cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas. They are also used for other innovative projects, among which construction of toilets for women is a priority area.
The official said the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had written to corporate houses requesting them to contribute more for the cleanliness mission. “In September 2017, when the Swachhta Hi Sewa campaign was launched by the government, the ministry had written to companies to contribute more CSR funds for this mission,” he said.
Under the Companies Act, 2013, profitable firms are required to spend at least 2 per cent of their average annual income for CSR activities.
The SBK is administered by a governing council headed by the Secretary, Department of Expenditure. Other permanent members include the Secretaries of various ministries like Drinking Water and Sanitation, Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, and Rural Development.
DOWN AND DOWN
How corporate contributions
to the Swachh Bharat fund
Year Amt (in Dcrore)