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...The results on CSR expenditures by firms in the fiscal year 2015-16 were released recently. It is certainly true that Indian firms collectively are more than complying with the CSR law. According to Prime Database, Indian companies spent Rs9,309 crore on CSR projects in 2015-16, which was Rs163 crore more than the amount required by law, and Rs703 crore more than the previous year. The general reaction in the Indian press has been positive and suggests that the CSR law has been a success. However, the CSR law is only apparently successful, and in reality is harmful. The problem is that reported expenditure on CSR projects is not a good metric of societal welfare. These numbers overstate the effect of the law. It is not clear whether firms have really increased their CSR spending after the law compared to what they were spending voluntarily before the law, because CSR spending was not well reported historically. ...Live Mint on Dec. 12, 2016, 11:55 p.m.