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SEBI & Corporate Laws

CSR funds can be used to fight Covid-19

[Source: CSR Committee of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India]

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said on March 23, 2020 that “In view of the spread of novel Corona Virus in India, its declaration as pandemic by the WHO, and decision of Government of India, to treat this as notified disaster, it is hereby clarified that spending of CSR funds for Covid – 19 is eligible”
 
Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur told Lok Sabha on March 16, 2020 that a high level committee on CSR has recommended the transfer of the unspent CSR amount to a separate, designated account. “Unspent amounts, and the interest earned thereon, (have to) be spent within a period of three to five years, failing which the same be transferred to a fund to be specified by the Central Government which may be used for innovative, high impact projects related to activities,” he said.
 
Some of the activities which may be undertaken may be:
 
1. Scientific research for development of drug for the Covid-19.
2. Manufacture and / or Distribution of kits for testing of the disease.
3. Providing Quarantine facilities to those affected.
4. Mass training of nurses and paramedical staff to face the situation.
5. Distribution of food and arrangement of shelter for doctors and paramedical staff.
6. Opening of sanitisation facilities (mobile and stationary) and training of workers for the same.
7. Distribution of food / medicine / financial support to the poor / daily wage earners who are forced to stay at home during the lockdown / curfew.
8. Arrangement of ambulance and corpse carriers (if required)
9. Mass supply of protective gear (gloves, caps, masks etc.)
10. Transport facilities for medical and paramedical staff and other supporting staff.
11. All facilities to be extended to urban as well as rural areas.

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