Voicing for the Civil Society Organizations in the Budget 2021-22
Dr. Balasubramaniam of GRAAM interacted with the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and shared his suggestions regarding the CSOs and their current challenges in view of the upcoming Budget 2021-22.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is preparing for the budget season 2021-22. And this year, inputs
are being sought from a cross section of the society across India. In this regard, Dr. Balasubramanium,
Founder and Chairman, GRAAM, was invited to seek inputs regarding the challenges facing the social
sector and NGOs. Dr. Balasubramaniam, in his one-on-one discussion with the finance minister,
strongly advocated for the stimulation of rural economies, speaking widely for the social and civil
society sector in general.
Prominently featured in the discussion was the recent amendment to the Companies Act 2013, and in
particular the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Amendment Rules 2020. He prescribed inputs
over regulatory effectiveness and taxation related to the social sector, including increasing the cap on
admin expenditure under FCRA or considering a revision of the definition of admin expenditure.
Among his suggestions, he also proposed a revisit to the Societies Registration Act of 1860, to make it
more relevant, updated and facilitatory to the contemporary NGO ecosystem.
Dr. Balasubramaniam’s discussion also followed up on last year’s announcement of setting up a social
stock exchange in India, with a clear transition pathway for the existing NGOs and Civil Society
Organisations to evolve into Social Enterprises. He also made suggestions on improving the process of
disclosures, performance incentives and social impact/results, including an accredited way of
measuring social impact.