Can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds be spent on activities related to Covid-19 disease?
Yes! But not really
Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) is continuing commitment by businesses to integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations.
The India Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) announced that COVID-19 spending would now be covered under the (general) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of Schedule VII pertaining to the promotion of health, preventative healthcare and sanitation and disaster relief.
This means that, in case Indian subsidiaries have donated or otherwise provided, on a voluntary basis, any medical help or supplies for the COVID-19 disaster, such contributions will now be regarded as CSR contributions under any of the respective Schedule VII activities.
Activities which may be included by companies in their Corporate Social Responsibility Policies
Activities relating to:—
(i) eradicating extreme hunger and poverty;
(ii) promotion of education;
(iii) promoting gender equality and empowering women;
(iv) reducing child mortlity and improving maternal health;
(v) combating human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, malaria and other diseases;
(vi) ensuring environmental sustainability;
(vii) employment enhancing vocational skills;
(viii) social business projects;
(ix) contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government or the State Governments for socio-economic development and relief and funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women; and
(x) such other matters as may be prescribed.