The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), an industry body, has suggested the government include an additional 1% Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) levy apart from the 2% mandatory CSR in the upcoming Budget 2022. The additional 1% CSR will encourage corporates to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
The CII also urged the state governments to lift the restrictions imposed on economic activities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It also argued that the occupancy rate of the hospital beds as a result of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is well within manageable levels.
Additional 1% CSR Levy for COVID-19 Booster Shot
The CII president, TV Narendran, recommended for an additional 1% be added to CSR requirements for a specified period of 12 months in the Budget 2022 to provide booster shots to all age groups. He also stated that the chamber expects Budget 2022-23 to focus on economic recovery strengthening measures.
The CII requested that the government encourage the industry to deploy CSR funding towards providing booster shots to the community. The CII stated that the industry is ready to contribute an additional 1% under the CSR requirements towards the national vaccination mission that can be part of the Budget for one year only, apart from the mandated annual 2% CSR.
Fast Track Imports of Vaccines
The CII has requested fast-tracking imports of all international approved protein-based and mRNA vaccines at a price determined by the government. It would open up booster shots to all sections of society.
The CII has also written to state chief ministers to consider pandemic-induced curbs at micro containment zones only when the hospitalisation rates are over 75%, in line with the Prime Minister’s guidance to states for undertaking required restrictions at localised levels.
The CII president stated that it is possible to protect lives and maintain normal economic activities with lower hospitalisations seen in the Omicron variant. There is an expectation of a 9.2% growth rate achievement over 2021-22 with a bounce-back in the economy.
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