The Ministry of Commerce has clarified that the contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or the State relief fund will not qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility expenditure, while any donation to the PM CARES Fund will.
“‘The Chief Minister’s Relief Fund’ or ‘State Relief Fund for COVID-19’ is not included in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, and therefore any contribution to such funds shall not qualify as admissible CSR expenditure,” it has said in a circular.
The circular has said donations to the State Disaster Management Authority to combat COVID-19 can be counted as admissible CSR expenditure.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury flagged the circular on Twitter and said it was discriminatory and went against the constitutional principle of federalism. “States are at the forefront of this battle to contain the spread of Covid-19, and they are being strangulated by the Centre in this fight,” he said.
He sought an immediate amendment to Schedule VII of the Companies Act to permit the States to access these funds which could save millions of lives. “Corner all CSR monies for his personally named fund & deny States — who are in the frontline of combatting #COVID19 — these funds. This is “Cooperative Federalism”? Amend Schedule 7 of Companies Act to permit State govts to access these funds which could save millions of lives,” he said.
“Shame on Modiji’s petty politics! Opaque PMCARES is CSR but not CM relief fund! States are leading the COVID war. Centre has not even released even old GST dues,” Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra wrote on Twitter.
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