These would fall under the permitted CSR activities as per the seventh schedule of the Companies Act, 2013, the ministry said in a circular on Wednesday.
Specifically, the newly permitted activities would come under the categories relating to promotion of healthcare, including preventive health care and sanitation, promoting education and disaster management, the circular said.
India Inc has been pushing the Centre to permit funds spent by corporates on vaccinating employees and local communities as CSR spends, however, the latest circular stopped short of taking this step.
Previously, the MCA had amended the CSR rules to permit companies engaged in research and development (R&D) activity of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices to categorise as CSR activity any Covid-related R&D activity even if undertaken as part of its normal course of business.
The decision, taken in August last year, was aimed at enhancing the flow of funds towards Covid-19 vaccine and drug development.
Earlier in March 2020, the ministry had allowed funds donated to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund by corporates to be classified as CSR spends.
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1 Comment on this Story
Gopinath Nair3 days ago
Covid-19 as a new disease struck so suddenly that it paralysed economies throughout the world. Suddenly economic focus shifted from commercial to social activity with focus on health care and medical efforts to effectively immunise society from this disease.It is the rapidity of introduction of these vaccines which provided doubt in society which was unfortunately capitalised on by disgruntled and irresponsible forces with selfish interests to add to the confusion. Accordingly the agenda to include covid-19 vaccines within the ambit of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a welcome measure to instill social confidence and promote "herd immunity". Further all forms of established medication have had a beginning and gradually adapted to as per international standards.Covid preventive and curative vaccines are the recent example. The current vaccination drive is by itself an emergency measure and a disaster management exercise on which further improvement measures can gradually be carried out. Accordingly education should henceforth be imparted on health care, sanitation and hygiene. Further the very purpose of CSR is social welfare and the vaccination drive will be beneficial both to the corporate employees and the surrounding population thus promoting greater involvement.