Coronavirus: Centre says CSR funds can be utilised to fight pandemic

Tirupati: Funds under corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used to control the spread of Corona virus, the Centre said on 24 March. The joint secretary to the government of India, Gyaneshwar Kumar Singh, said CSR funds in the entire country can be spent on various activities related to preventing the spread of the virus. He said the government considered the disease as a notified disaster that is eligible for CSR funds.

The amount is to be spent on healthcare, preventive health care, sanitation, and disaster management. The general circular issued in June 2014 are broad-based and may be interpreted liberally for utilising the funds under the CSR category, he clarified.

According to the Companies Act 2013, companies having a net worth of Rs. 500 crore or with a turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore or with a net profit of Rs. 5 crore shall constitute a CSR committee and spend at least two per cent of the company’s average profits made during the last three years.

“There has been no clarity on spending CSR funds for Corona prevention. Now, the government has clarified it and companies can use them to combat the pandemic. The country has CSR funds worth Rs. 25,000. Industrial organisations can start activities based on the clarification of senior officials,” said Prof. Y.V Rami Reddy, member-EAC (Industrial), ministry of environment.

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