On April 22, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) indicated that using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding to “build up makeshift hospitals and temporary Covid care facilities” is an acceptable CSR activity. “The corporations may engage in the aforementioned activities in consultation with state governments,” the MCA decision noted, “subject to compliance with the Companies (CSR) Rules, 2014 and the circulars relevant to CSR issues issued by this Ministry from time to time.”
The MCA issued an order on January 22 this year clarifying that spending CSR monies on awareness campaigns and public outreach programmes to promote COVID-19 vaccination would be deemed an authorised CSR activity. The decision by the government to cover these efforts under CSR comes as the country’s medical system struggles to cope with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“In light of the current scenario, the government’s decision seems sound. However, it would have been desirable to broaden it to include all activities relating to our campaign against Covid, such as supplies to hospitals “Darshan Upadhyay, Managing Partner at Stratage Law Partners, explained the situation. Several states have even implemented limitations to try to keep the pandemic under control, which reached a new high of 3.14 lakh new cases on April 22.
The Indian government said earlier today that it was hesitant to enable corporations to designate their employee vaccination expenditures as corporate social responsibility or to allow them to use the funds solely for staff immunisation. The government, on the other hand, stated that if a company’s immunisation drive includes the greater community, it may be considered corporate social responsibility. Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, has stated that until corporations receive direct COVID-19 vaccine supply, they can assist hospitals in putting up vaccination campaigns in open spaces to limit the danger of infection at hospital locations.