India Inc, as part of its CSR, has spent up to Rs 24,865 as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure for 2020-202, Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.
Rs 6,947 crore was spent on health programs in 2020-21, including those related to COVID-19, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
She also said that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) does not maintain separately the details of CSR funds spent by companies on COVID-19.
It may be recalled that MCA had through various circulars issued in 2021 clarified that spending of CSR funds for carrying out awareness campaigns/programs or public outreach campaigns on Covid-19 vaccination program, setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary Covid-19 care facilities , creating healthcare infrastructure for Covid- 19 care and establishment of medical oxygen generation and storage plants and manufacturing and supply of oxygen concentrators /ventilators/cylinders are all eligible CSR activities under company law.
According to the government, about 60% of the total CSR funds spent by companies in the last seven years have gone to activities related to education, health and rural development. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs also stated that during the period under review, about 33% of the total corporate CSR expenditure was in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, India’, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Sitharaman highlighted that CSR is a board driven process, and the board of the company is empowered to plan, decide, execute and monitor the CSR activities of the company based on the recommendations of its CSR committee.