The Government of India has clarified that the spending of Corporate Social Responsibility funds for setting up makeshift hospitals, temporary Covid care facilities was an eligible CSR activity
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) elaborated on eligible Covid-related expenditure which would qualify as eligible corporate social responsibility (CSR). These include creating health infrastructure for Covid care, the establishment of medical oxygen generation and storage plants, manufacturing and supply of oxygen concentrators, ventilators, cylinders, and other medical equipment for countering Covid-19.
Companies allowed to invest CSR funds into Schedule VII of the Companies Act would be able to contribute to specified research and development projects as well as public-funded universities and certain organizations engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering, and medicine. Schedule VII includes funds such as the Prime Minister Relief Fund, Swachh Bharat Kosh, among others.
MCA said in a circular, “The companies including government companies may undertake the activities or projects or programs using CSR funds, directly by themselves or in collaboration as a shared responsibility with other companies, subject to fulfillment of Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014.”
The government had recently clarified that spending of corporate social responsibility funds for setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary Covid care facilities was an eligible CSR activity.
Contribution to the PM Cares Fund, announced by the government in March 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and any other such emergencies that might arise in the future, was also declared as an eligible activity under the Corporate Social Responsibility of companies.
Corporate Affairs Secretary Rajesh Verma in an appeal to industry also asked them to consider converting office buildings that were vacant due to the ‘work from home’ policy into Covid care centers with isolation or oxygen beds to cater to the rapidly increasing caseload in different parts of the country.
“As you are leaders of highly successful companies, I would like to appeal to you to come forward and supplement the government’s efforts in fulfilling the rising hospitalization needs,” Verma said.
Courtesy: Business Standard