Corporates can spend CSR funds to combat COVID-19: FM
The spending of CSR funds by corporates to combat coronavirus outbreak will be eligible for CSR activity.
Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s office announced on March 23, 2020 that the spending of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) funds to tackle coronavirus outbreak will be eligible for CSR activity.
The announcement was made through a tweet amidst the rapid spread of COVID-19 virus across India, keeping in view WHO’s declaration of a pandemic and Indian Government’s decision to treat the outbreak as a notified disaster.
The announcement means that the funds spent by the corporates to fight coronavirus will be considered as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.
Following is the official government notification regarding the same:
The notification reads that the funds may be spent on different activities related to coronavirus pandemic, which fall under items (i) and (ii) of Schedule VII, which includes activities that are aimed at promoting health care including preventive health care as well as disaster management.
As per a 2014 circular, the items of the schedule are broad and can be interpreted broadly for the purpose. The corporates, however, will require approval from the competent authority.