The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has recently clarified that the amount spent for COVID-19 care infrastructure facilities is eligible for CSR activities.
The Ministry, in March 2020, notified that the spending of CSR funds for COVID-19 is an eligible CSR activity.The move was expected to come as a booster dose for several corporates who had recently voluntarily come forward to provide medical oxygen supplies to help the patients and even resorted to imports of cryogenic tankers to help fulfil the unexpected oxygen demand in the country.
The Ministry, in continuance to the circular, today clarified that “it is further clarified that spending of CSR funds for ‘creating health infrastructure for COVID care’, ‘establishment of medical oxygen generation and storage plants’, ‘manufacturing and supply of Oxygen concentrators, ventilators, cylinders, and other medical equipment for countering COVID-19’ or similar such activities are eligible CSR activities under item nos. (i) and (xii) of Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 relating to the promotion of health care, including preventive health care, and, disaster management respectively.”
“Reference is also drawn to item no. (ix) of Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 which permits contribution to specified research and development projects as well as contribution to public-funded universities and certain Organisations engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering, and medicine as eligible CSR activities,” the circular added.
The companies including Government companies may undertake the activities or projects or programmes 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 and the guidelines issued by this Ministry from time to time.